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Full text of "Omni Magazine (November 1979)"




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JOVEMBER 1979 $2:C 




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EXCLUSIVE: DMNI TESTS "UFO FRAGMENTS" 
ANTIMATTER: THE ULTIMATE FUEL 
ALIENS AND THE LAW: OK TO SHOOT ON 3» 
BRAVE NEW TOYS: SANTA COMPUTERIZES 

INTERVIEW: CAMBRIDGE'S FIRST DOCTGR-GPPArtHf* 



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EDITOR & DESIGN DIRECTOR: BOB GUCCIONE 

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: FRANK KENDIG 

ART DIRECTOR FRANK DEViNO 

EUROPEAN EDITOR: DR. BERNARD DIXON 

FCTICN EjrO-i- BENBOVA 

IJREC"ORO r ADVERT SING BEVEH -V WAROALC 

EXECUTVE VCE-F^ESIDENI IPWIN L BILLMAN 



NOVEMBER 1979 




CONTENTS 






PAGE 


FIRST WORD 


. Opinion 


J. Anderson Dorm an 


6 


OMNIBUS 


Contibutors 




8 


COMMUNICATIONS 


Correspondence 




10 


FORUM 


Dialogue 




12 


EARTH 


Environment 


Kenneth B rower 


14 


SPACE 


Astronomy 


Mark R. Chartrand III 


16 


LIFE 


Bicmedicine 


Bernard Dixon 


18 


THE ARTS 


Film 


James Deison 


20 


■STARS 


Comment 


Patrick Moore 


26 


UFO UPDATE 


Report 


Harry Lebelson 


, 30 


CONTINUUM 


Data Bank 




35 


ANTIMATTER REVEALED 


Article 


Robert L. Forward 


44 


DREAM HOUSE 


Article 


Ronald Dans 


50 


THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST 


Fiction 


Robert A. Heinlein 


56 


MANURED KAGE 


Pictorial 


Herbert W. Franke 


66 


MALTHUS'S DAY 


Fiction 


Jayge Carr 


76 


CARL SARGENT 


Interview 


Christopher Evans 


80 


ILLEGAL ALIENS 


Article 


Robert A. Freitas, Jr. 


84 


21ST-CENTURY FOSS 


Pictorial 




88 


CYBER FUNI 


Article 




96 


COMPETITION RESULTS 


Partly Baked Ideas 


Scot Morris 


135 


EXPLORATIONS 


Travel 


Cheryl Simon 


137 


ERUPTION 


Phenomena 


Pete Turner 


140 


GAMES 


Diversions 


Scot Morris 


144 


LAST WORD 


Opinion 


LA.P Moore 


146 


PHOTO CREDITS 






142 



Cover art for this month's Omni 
is a 1973 pai riling by the 
German artist Ute Osterwalder, 
fnhilea Ears Arc Eyes. Painted 
in acrylic, it retiects the 
::-i-c;cg'aij:':i' approach that 
chaiactBrizns Osler.valder's 
paintings. She lives in Hamburg, 
West Germany 

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and Thif'd World spo; 



4/Vo private enterprise will 

risk billions of 

dollars on a moon-based 

silicon factory 

ifmostofthe world disputes 

its legal right 

to profit from that factory. 9 



Aw a 'unbar deter rem. mdus'.nalisis would 
be compered to transfer i rne:r technology 
[u other counties, perhaps on a 
subsidized-bast-S- 

Moreover a sirong i' j g:ii : Inference- 
in paragraph 2 of Article VI and 
again in paragraph Sot Article Xi bars 
commercially oriented enterprises from 
engaging in experimental or pilot lunar 
operations. The treary does permit the use- 
of resources in 'scientific investigations.'' 
but then the issue oeccmes one of ■ 
de-irung 'scientific in vesications 'You 
can Pel rhai excludes commercial space 
developments designed fo r future profit 
Tr" s is now inlerriar-ona monopolies are 
err iiod. ! :■■■!■■: i ■■in,, i i-g 5 '■■■ < nip' 
and Third Wcid indue noes. Once me 
treaty is signedby the United States, it is 
doubtful that the Department or State 
would authorize Amerean companies to 
begin commercial lunar exqloilaiion for 
fear oi interfering w.tn internationai 
negotiations. 

'IvcU 
in the treaty s ratification don.*: seem to 
reci 

seethatthe agreement is pecicusiy 
.antithetical to the free-market 
develop meet of soar, e resources And yet, 
as vve ■-.'& revealed i.hroL;ql~ countless 
articles in the pages of ihis magazine, free 
enterprise is tne very boost needed toget 
America inic s.usfaned orbit. Even if this 
tu-rns put no I to ne true, it -seems incredibly.;. : 
shortsighted oi our nation to sign a 
binding- treaty ;n v/men lire poiitical wiil oi 
oiner countries win dictate the pace aire 
substance oi space exploitation 

Wo can still try to change this treaty o; 
ivyac! it off entirely. Wbar remains is io write 
io you; congressman immediately Tne 
Unired Stares has already approved the 
new treaty n committee oi. the United 
r-ialiom. where-: it will be virrualiy 
rubber-stamped by the General Assembly 
this (all. ;n iact the moon f/ealy may 
already have been passed a , you read 
lire, bui like ail r^aior inte:na;:onal 
ag 

Senate. Through auiek and effective 
political action, we may be able to 
encourage. our ;eu slaiors re take a second 
took. Beyond your own oori press man, key 
target sof -a letter- writing campaign should 
include Senator Fran'': Church (D-ldaho), 
chairman ol the Senate Foreign Relations 
CcmmiUee. arid Representative Con 
Fuqua (D-Fla.!. who chairs the House 
Committee on Science and Technology. If 

' the United States iinaliy does ratify this 
agreement: the prospects for private 

..enterprise on the moon and other celestial. . 
bodies will disappear, OO 



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onnruii 




Can you "murder" an alien being 
and gel off scot-free? Probably so. 
In the eyes of the law, visitors from 
space would fall somewhere between 
horses and stagecoaches. In this issue of 
Omni space-law specialist Robert A. 
Freitas.Jr, tells why "illegal aliens just 
aren't safe on planet Earth." Freitas, an 
attorney with degrees in physics and 
psychology, has been working for the past 
five years on a comprehensive review of 
exobiology (the study of life on other 
planets). Author of several articles 
published \nAnalog magazine, last year 
he published a handbook dealing with 
political space activism entitled Lobbying 
tor Space. His insightful interpretation of 
the law. as it pertains to the visiting aliens 
begins on page 84. 

Seven thousand feet above Lake Tahoe 
sits the Smith home, considered "the most 
innovative solar home in the world." Ronald 
Dans profiles the perfect habitat for the 
1980s in "Dream House" {page 50), an 
in-depth report on the joys of "passive" 
solar heating. Dans, a graduate in 
electrical engineering, has been working 
in the computer field since 1966. Formerly 
a consultant with the Fusion Energy 
Corporation, he is currently working on a 
documentary for Omni. 

Back again is Dr. Robert L Forward. 
senior scientist at the Hughes Research 
Laboratories in Malibu, California. Dr. 
Forward describes what he calls the 
"ultimate fuel," antimatter. This incredible 
substance, a phenomenon essential to the 
a OMNI 



basic structure of matter, "is being made, 
captured, cooled, and stored tor days a; a 
time in Switzerland right now." :t Urns out 
that the question is not wl teWw antimatter 
can be produced for fuel in interspace 
travel but, simply, whether "we' want to do 
it." Look for the answers on page 44. 

Germany's leading photon icrographer, 
Manfred Kage has spent most of his life 
■ exploring the visual world of science and 
maximizing its graphic appeal. A castle 
deep within the'foothiiis o - ' Germany's 
Schwabische Alb is Kage's laboratory, 
where continuing projects mc'i.Jde the 
transiormation of sound waves into brilliant 
colors and forms. This month Omni 
provides a spectacular disp ay of Kage's 
magic with a profile of the artist by Herbert 
W. Franke, one of Germany's leading SF 
novelists beginning on page 66. 

As any ufologist wii: tell you. ohyscal 
evidence has always been the stumbling 
block for skeptcs and oe fevers alike. 
When Omni acquired two metal fragments 
purported to be of extraterrestrial 
provenance, we arranged to have them 
analyzed by MIT. Harry Lebelson , a New 
York investigator for the Aerial Phenomena 
Research Organization, details a 
fascinating experiment that raises more 
questions than it answers. Read for 
yourself in UFO Update {page 30). 

Phaser guns, laser-firing vehicles, 
robots that talk and analyze voice 
patterns, computerized hovercraft that 
shoot photon. torpedoes— are these new 
secret weapons commissioned by the 



^eniagon? Not quite. They represent a 
new generation of computer ioys that may 
change tne way children play This month* 
Omni provides a data. led ook at some of 
these- revolutionary devices, all of which 
you'll find appearing on department-store 
shelves this holiday season. Break out the 
shopping lists and turn to "Cyber Fun!" 
Special-effects photographer Peter Turner 
provides the graphics (page 96). 

James Deiscn ore-views I he upcoming 
science-fiction and fantasy films for 1980 
in The Arts (page 20). Despite numerous 
delays caused by the mad rush to beat 
one another to the screen, Delson reports 
tbat motion-picture companies are now 
prepared to release the long-awaited Star 
Trek: The Motion Picture , The Black Hole , 
and The Empire Strikes Back! 

Headlining this month's fiction is the 
exciting conclusion of Robert A. Heinlein's 
"The Number of the Beast" {page 56). 
Jayge Carr marks her Omni debut with an 
extraordinary tale about childbirth (or lack 
of it) in the not-too-distant future 
("Malthus's Day," page 76). 

Rounding out our November issue is an 
exclusive interview with Dr. Carl Sargent, 
the first man ever to be g ranted a 
doctorate in parapsychology by 
Cambridge University, England's grand 
old academic institution. Dr. Sargent's 
controversial techniques to determine the 
reality of ESP have created quite a stir in 
British scientific circles. Find out why in 
this intriguing probe by contributing editor 
Christopher Evans , on page 80. DO 



THE CORPORATION 



AOMINISTfWr 



ADVERTI3IMG OFFICES 



NOVEMBER 



OTTERS __ 

caanrifiURjicMTiDru5 



Roach Step 

Long accustomed to the occasional 
■nsens;tivity of scientif : c types io Ihe 
niceties of great poetry, I must nonetheless 
take exception to Joyce McWilliams's 
admonition in "The Restless Roach" |Last 
Word, August 1979] that we avoid 
stepping on a cockroach because it might 
be the reincarnation of Rod McKuen. 

As a long-time student and lover of fine 
poetry, I would take agood deal of 
personal delight in crushing a cockroach I 
should suspect was Rod McKuen. A 
veritable army of scholars, writers, 
and critics would undoubtedly pay to 
watch. 

In all fairness to Ms. McWilliams, 
however, I should point out that the 
reincarnation suggested is a particularly 
apt one. 

Robert E. Crawford 
Lakeview, Oreg. 

Being a denizen of the Deep South. I was 
much entertained and intrigued by Joyce 
McWilliams's searching article on the 
"restlessness" of cockroaches. Having 
had more dealings with the little devils 
than I ever would have desired had I other 
alternatives, I feel I know them quite well 
and wish to state, for Ms. McWilliams's 
beneiit, that the most restless cockroach 
you'll ever (ind is he who perceives that 
you are about to slep on him. 

You must be quick, or the little bugger 
will lead you on a merry chase through the 
entire household. No matter how fast you 
pursue, knocking over lamps, skinning 
your knees on the furniture, and stamping 
your feet on empty spaces always one 
inch aft of the little monster, you'll seldom if 
ever get him. Not only that, but you'll look 
rather ludicrous to those observing the 
spectacle, and they may have you 
committed. At any rate, it's my opinion that 
anyone willing to sit and watch the 
vile-looking creatures day after day to 
record their degree of composure at 
any one time must certainly be maso- 
chistic. I can't handle the looks of 'em 
myself. 

Frank Kiese 
New Orleans, '..a 



A Toast 

For several years now, along with many 
other SF readers. I have been following the 
exploitsof Doc Webster Ca lahan, Fast 
Eddie, and, of course. Jake. If Ben Bova's 
personal medd ng was invoked in the 
appearance of another "Callahan's 
Crosstime Saloon" story [July 1979]. then I 
personally want to wish him a heartfelt 
thanks. (The same io Spider Robinson for 
writing another of course.) You see, when 
the book came out in 1977 bearing the title 
Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, I was afraid 
rhe demise of me saioon theme was 
imminent. For the past two years the 
possible appearance of a new "Callahan" 
story was quickly becoming a fading 
hope. 

After reading the July issue of your 
magazine. I reassessed my attitudes 
toward miracles and Santa Claus. The 
next time I'm in a ban I will toast Spider 
Robinson and Callahan's with a "Phillips 
Screwdriver" and hope that he never runs 
out of typewriter ribbon. 

Edward A. Fleiss 
Huntington, N.Y 

In the Stars 

The letter from astrologer Donna L Crazier 
[July 1979], responding to the comments 
attributed to J. A. Wheeler that we live in a 
country supporting 20,000 astrologers but 
only 2.000 astronomers, may create 
several misimpressions. 

Regarding the number of astrologers in 
this country, probably any estimate is as 
good as any other There seem to be no 
rcabie head counts, but in a recent 
volume by noted astrologers the number 
of full-time professional asrdcgers is put 
at 1.000. Rationality may ye; overcome. 

Ms. Crazier refers to astrology as an "art 
and science." Astrology, as il stands today, 
is a morass of conflicting principles and 
confused practitioners. An art perhaps, a 
religion probably a science never. It is also 
clear to us that astronomy and astrology 
were not so much "one and the same," as 
as'roogers would like to believe. A 
number of classical scholars, e.g., 
Eudoxos and Cicero, decried astrology 
and pointed to it as being practiced by 

CONTINUED ON PAGE 1 42 



DIALOGUE 
FDRURJI 



In which the readers, editors, and 
correspondents discuss topics arising out 
of Omni and theories and speculation of 
general interest are brought forth. The 
views published are not necessarily those 
of the editors. Letters for publication 
should be mailed to Omni Forum, Omni 
Magazine. 909 Third Avenue, New York, 
NX 10022. 

Antiquarian Vibes 

With all due respect to Carl Sagan as a 
probing and soecu ative professional, I 
am surprised that in his "White Dwarfs and 
Green Men" lAugust 1979] he fails to 
acknowledge the possibility that if 
extraterrestrials did indeed visit Earth in 
the past, they may not have been even -- 
slightly interested in leaving a purposeful 
indication and explicit marker for a future 
society to marvel at. Chances are that an 
extremely superior technology would not 
be impressed with just another outlying 
barbaric planet. Let's face it, our civi- 
lization, in general, has been no great joy 
to deal with - an attitude well defined, say, 
by Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes. 
Stan K. Stephenson II 
Seminole, Fla. 

I was intrigued by Carl Sagan's article 
"White Dwarfs and Green Men" and would 
like to add some information that I feel 
supports the notion that Sirius B may have 
been a red giant in earlier times. In 1662 
Anloine Arnault, a French Renaissance 
philosopher, wrote a book entitled The Art 
of Thinking. In it is a passage by Vergil that 
reilects the belief of the people of that day 
who credited the Dog Star, called Sirius in 
Latin, with the heat ot August: 

Even as fiery Sirius, 

Bearer of drought and plague to feeble 

man. 

Rises and saddens the sky with baleful 

light. 

(AeneidX: 273-75) 

The key word here is fiery. Webster defines 
■this word as "of the color of fire: intensely 
or unnaturally red." 

Don Peterson 
Los Angeles, Calif. 



Natural Defense 

In regard to Douglas Gasner's article, 
"Interferon and Beyond" [July 1979]. I 
must say that while the information 
contained therein is rather interesting, it 
leads one toward unwise goals and hopes 
for the future. 

Gasner fails to comprehend the 
implications of the discovery of interferon 
as being part of the "cells' natural 
defenses." He fails to realize that 
interferon, in conjunction with the body's 
other means of defense, known and 
unknown, will fulfill its function under 
normal circumstances, thus making 
laboratory production of this substance 
superfluous. The body is capable of 
defending itsell against the external (and 
often infernal) threats of bacterial, viral, 
and fungal attack, as well as the basically 
internal threat of cancer. Colds, diabetes 
mellitus, angina pectoris, arthritis, cancer. 
and soon which we call disease — are 
more manifestations, symptoms, if you will, 
of disease. They indicate a lack of ease or 
a lack ot health. It is interference with the 
nervous system, that which maintains and 
controls every cell in the body, that causes 
this lack of ease. Perhaps we should look 
to the removal of this interierence in the 
functioning of the nervous system in order 
to attain and maintain good health. 
Perhaps we should look to chiropractic 
rather than to immunology. 

In spite of all the amazing strides ihat 




science snc :echnccgy nave made 
(recorded in the pages of Omni and other 
publications throughout the world), no 
scientist has been able to create a living 
organism— noi even one single cell! 
Independent of the crude and meager 
assistance of any scientist, there exists a 
life force, an innate intelligence, that 
should be recognized and respected. It is 
the force that unites the sperm and the 
ovum to form the zygote that will divide 
and differentiate until we see an adult 
Homo sapiens of between 25 and 40 
quadrillion perfectly coordinated cells ot 
varying and specific form and function. 
But if there is interference with the nervous i 
system . . , 

Donald E. Harte 
Great Neck, N.Y 

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained 
Having been employed as a co-op student 
in an engineering branch of NASA's Mar- 
shall Space Flight Center. I must heartily 
agree with all the points covered by Mr. 
Grey's article [First Word, August 1979], 

We cannot blame NASA, and not even 
Congress, which iixes NASA's budget, for | 
our declining space program. American 
society is at fault— public apathy toward 
the once-glorious space effort has 
reached its zenith. I frequently hear irom : 
people. "We landed on the moon, didn't 
we? What else do you want?" 

To these same people I say: What do 
you want? To be a citizen of the most 
militarily secure nation on Earth? To live in 
a country that enjoys the prosperity and 
comforts of worldwide technological 
leadership? 

No American would deny having these 
desires, but so pitiably few recognize the 
direct link between these aspirations and 
a conscientious space program. I would 
especially like to commend and 
encourage Omni's maintenance of 
pro-space attitudes. Endorsement of 
NASA's objectives is crucial to our nation's 
economy, security and scientific 
advancement. Come on, America. 
Nothing ventured, nothing gained! 

John Vassar 
Atlanta. Ga.OQ 



OMNi 



ENCOMtYUM 



EARTH 



By Kenneth Brower 



□ n January 5 of this year the anti- 
nuclear activist David Dinsmore 
Comey was killed in an au- 
tomobile crash in Wisconsin. No one has 
hinted al foul play, as many have in the 
death of Karen Silkwood, another antinu- 
clear activist killed on the highway. This 
absence even of hints is sad. It points to a 
failure of imagination in the antinuclear 
movement— a failure coincident with 
Comey's departure. It never would have 
happened had Comey been around to 
elaborate a theory for his death. 

David Comey was a paradox, deliberate 
and self-made. He was an environ- 
mentalist who dressed like a captain of 
industry, an outrageous hyperbolist (when 
playful) with a passion (when serious) for 
the truth. Comey's account of The Death of 
Comey would have been outlandishly 
farfetched and funny but it would have left 
you wondering whether it might, after all, 
be true. 

"He was one of the most effective in 
seeking out the jugular vulnerability of 
nuclear power," says Dr. John Gofman. a 
former member of the Atomic Establish- 
ment, now one of its foremost resisters. 
"Comey was colorful, dogged, persistent. 
He kept an air of joviality through it all. He 
wasn't the paranoid crusader." 
. "He had an insatiable appetite for the 
facts, pleasantly flavored with 
humor— sometimes devastatingly 
flavored," says David Brower, president of 
Friends of the Earth. "If he had lived a little 
longer, he might have shamed some 
corporate heads into being ethically 
responsible. More than anything, we 
needed him to take on [James] 
Schlesinger." 

"Electrical utilities building or planning 
nuclear-power plants would probably do 
well to try to understand David Dinsmore 
Comey and what motivates him," the trade 
journal Nuclear Industry reported in 1973. 
The journal called Comey "the most 
formidable— because perhaps the most 
rational or at least the most sharply 
focusing — foe of nuclear power." In 1974 
the Environmental Protection Agency 
presented Comey with its first annual 
Environmental Quality Award "for services 
M OMNI 



that have immeasurably improved the 
design and safety review of nuclear 
reactors." 

One of those who worked most closely 
with Comey was Jim Harding, formerly an 
energy adviser to the state of California, 
now energy director of Friends of the 
Earth. 

"When I first met David," Harding told 
me recently, "I expected some lean young 
environmental activist. Instead, here was 
this well-fed Chicago beefeater. There are 
such airs about David, with his handmade 
suits, his gold pocket watch and chain, his 
bowler hat, his Cross leather luggage, his 
Dunhill pipes, his Gucci shoes— real 
Gucci loafers — that I'm both believing and 
disbelieving. You get from his tales the 
same things you get from his clothes. You 
don't quite believe, though it may all be 
true." 

(Harding's slip into the present tense 
surprised me. The past tense, he must 
have felt, hurried Comey, his mentor, too 
quickly toward oblivion.) 

"David has a very incisive wit. He cuts to 
the bone analytically in his writing and 
thinking. He found the holes in reactors. 

"He was fluent in Russian and German. 




Comey's prophecy 



He had a B.A. in philosophy from 
Princeton, and he taught the philosophy of 
science for a while at Cornell. He carried 
around a briefcase saying 'CIA Legal 
Departmeht.' He said he had been in the 
CIA in Geneva. 

"He told me he had found evidence of a 
Swiss atomic weapon. He said he was 
driving once in Switzerland on a high 
mountain road. A piece of the earth moved 
aside, and a couple of strategic warplanes 
came out of the side of the mountain. He 
found out later that the mountains of 
Switzerland are full of tunneis— long ones, 
half a mile or more— so the planes couid 
build up speed before coming out." 

I smiled at this story Harding saw me 
smile and smiled himself, but less widely. 
He had been there to hear Comey tell the 
tale, in all its Comey verisimilitude and 
detail, and he could not dismiss it entirely. 

David Comey played spy He had code 
names for the people inside the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission who slipped him 
information ("My contacts in the NRC"). 
His old employer, the CIA, was "The 
Company," or "Acme Plumbing Company" 
He called himself "Dinsmore," or "Elsie 
Dinsmore Comey," or "Peter Rabbit." 
Communiques from Peter Rabbit were 
signed with a paw print. "Shred this," 
recipients were sometimes instructed. 
With Jim Harding, whom he code-named 
"Green Hornet," Comey sometimes called 
himself Broderick, because Harding had 
once accused him of looking like 
Broderick Crawford in All the King's Men. 

Comey entered the nuclear controversy 
in 1963, when the New York State Electric 
and Gas Company announced its 
intention of building a nuclear reactor on 
Cayuga Lake, near Cornell, where Comey 
was director of the Research Institute on 
Soviet Science. He became chairman of a 
local group worried about thermal 
pollution of the lake. (He was not 
concerned yet about reactor safety.) His 
method of attack was worthy of an 
ex-dirty-trick artist with the CIA. He 
studied Who's Who for details about 
members of the board of New York Electric 
and Gas, and he interviewed friends of 
board families. He established a profile. 

CONTINUED ONPAQE 134 



THE SHRINKING SUN 



By MarkR.Chartrand III 



Jack Eddy thinks the sun is 
shrinking. If it is, this gradual 
contraction could be the current 
source of all solar energy. It would also be 
yet another example ot errant behavior on 
the part of our local star, which until 
recently we thought was well behaved, 

This sun's energy source has long been 
a subject of study. Most of the ancients 
simply thought of the sun as a glowing ball 
or disk. Others thought it was a huge 
piece of burning wood. The Industrial 
Revolution ushered in the image ol a lump 
of coal, But wood and coal were much too 
weak to furnish such heat and light. 

The last half of the nineteenth century 
and the first part of the twentieth saw a 
vigorous debate. The German Hermann 
von Helmholtz and the Englishman Baron 
Kelvin proposed that the sun was 
shrinking. A large gas sphere, such as the 
sun, can shrink, turning gravitational 
potential energy into heat energy. The sun 
would have to shrink only a very, very small 
amount each year to supply all the energy 
we measure coming from it. 

But if it were shrinking, it would have 



been larger in the distant past. In fact, only 
a few million years ago the sun would have 
been the size of the entire solar system. 
Fossil evidence shows Earth has been 
around far too long, and the Helmholtz- 
Kelvin theory had to be dropped. 

Over the years other ideas popped up: 
Meteors might hit the sun and heat it, but 
there aren't enough meteors to do the job. 
Radium and uranium fission could 
produce heat, but there isn't enough of 
these elements in the sun. Some 
subatomic process might do it, but no one 
could think of a mechanism. 

Finally, in 1938, Hans Bethe discovered 
a series of nuclear reactions that could 
explain the enormous amounts of solar 
energy that are produced at the 
15-million-degree-Celsius temperature 
known to exist at the heart of the sun. 
Bethe's scheme has been found to apply 
in larger stars than our sun, and the fusion 
of light elements to make heavier ones, 
releasing energy, is operative in the sun. 
Or so we have thought. 

In the string of nuclear reactions that 
eventually produce helium from hydrogen, 




thought. Now it seems they've gone out. 



a couple of elusive atomic particles, called 
neutrinos, are created. They have no elec- 
trical charge and can pass through most 
matteralmost unimpeded. Billions pene- 
trate your body each second. A neutrino 
could pass completely through the earth 
with only one chance in 10 billion of being 
stopped. Yet we can detect neutrinos with 
surprisingly little trouble. 

Physicists from Brookhaven National 
Laboratory, on Long Island, recently built a 
neutrino "telescope" in a gold mine far 
underground in South Dakota to shield it 
from normal cosmic rays, which would 
give results like those produced by 
neutrinos. If the sun is heated by fusion. 
the experiment should detect a certain 
number of neutrinos per day. 

What the scientists found was only a fifth 
of the number expected. 

There could be several explanations. 
We may not understand the physics of 
neutrino production or detection. Or the 
temperature inside the sun — and hence 
the rate at which the nuclear fires produce 
energy— is much lower than we thought. 
Both may be correct. 

Enter Jack Eddy's discovery He looked 
into measurements of the sun's size made 
at England's Greenwich Observatory 
from 1863 to 1953. The original data were 
collected by measuring the edges of the 
sun to determine solar time very precisely. 

What Eddy found was a slight 
shrinkage, about 0.1 percent per century. 
That's only about 13.7 kilometers per year, 
but more than enough to supply the solar 
energy by the mechanism Helmholtz and 
Kelvin proposed long ago. Perhaps the 
nuclear fires are banked, or temporarily 
turned off. Perhaps gravity alternates with 
nuclear power in providing the energy. 

Other studies over the past century hint 
that the sun's energy output may be 
becoming slightly reduced. Over the past 
few billion years the sun's energy cannot 
have varied very much, or we wouldn't be 
here now. But maybe it varies a little. The 
situation is anything but clear. 

Eddy has fomented a revolution in solar 
physics. Our complacency about our 
parent star has been shattered, and the 
answers are not yet in. But solar physics 
has again found a place in the sun. DO 



BUNDED BYTHE BLIGHT 



By Dr. Bernard Dixon 



■ ^^ i'nen the impossible is ■ 

I (eliminated, what must be left 
wv vvis the truth, however 
improbable," Sherlock Holmes once told 
his loyal assistant, Dr. Watson. It's not 
every day that a scientist cites this 
aphorism in a learned journal, but an eye 
specialist at the University of Glasgow did 
just that. The quotation was highly 
apposite, because his story— and its 
conclusion — has more in common with an 
adventure of the great English detective 
than with the sober deliberations of many 
present-day researchers. 

The tale began when Stephen Cobb 
was lecturing young teachers about 
defective color vision. He alerted them to 
the possible damaging influence of this 
handicap on their students' careers and 
explained how to diagnose it with the 
dotted Ishihara plates. 

The following week a teacher reported 
to him that 5 of the 15 boys in her class 
and 2 of the 14 girls were color-blind. This 
seemed rather unlikely because earlier 
surveys had shown the rate of color 
blindness to be minimal in that part of 
Scotland. Cobb asked the teacher to 
check her results. A week later she 
contacted him once more. She had tested 
all the students in the school, and fully 29 
percent of the boys and 6 percent of the 
girls were color-blind. 

Still far from convinced. Cobb and the 
head of his university department, 
Professor Ralph Pickford, decided to 
investigate for themselves. The result? In 
all but one case the previous diagnosis of 
defective color vision was borne out. 

At this point the researchers could think 
of only two remotely plausible 
explanations for the astonishing number of 
pupils at the school handicapped in this 
way Perhaps close inbreeding had 
occurred over several generations on the 
estates from which most of the children 
came. Second — an even more bizarre 
notion — perhaps the very high proportion 
of Roman Catholics among the students 
was an-influential factor. Could religion be 
linked to defective color vision? 

It soon became evident that the first 
idea was absurd. Cobb's calculations 
ia OMNI 



showed that an incredible degree of 
inbreeding would have been necessary to 
produce the observed frequency of color 
blindness. Not only would the number of 
"illicit relationships" have been 
unbelievably high, but conditions such as 
hemophilia would have reached such 
epidemic levels as to create a major 
public-health problem in the section of 
Scotland under Cobb's scrutiny 

Was there really any ophthalmological 
significance in Roman Catholicism? Do 
adherents of this church generally have a 
higher incidence of color blindness? Or 
were the inhabitants of the area 
descended from a population 
disproport cna:ely a"! ctecl by this 
condition? Widening his field of study, 
Cobb turned to another school, which he 
understood was in a cosmopolitan area of 
Glasgow. There he discovered that 17 
percent of the males were color-blind. 

Then it turned out that he had been 
wrong about the history of the area, which 
in fact contained a significantly large 
proportion of people descended from 
those who migrated to Scotland from 
Ireland after the Irish "troubles" at the turn 
of the century. "I had asked the right 
question for the wrong reasons, found the 
right result, and interpreted it wrongly until 
I [went] back . . . and found my initial 
assumption, on which I had based the 




experiment, to be incorrect." Cobb writes 
in The Ophthalmic Optician (Vol. 19, page 
262). "This, I suppose, is where any 
self-respecting scientist should go and 
hang himself, or at least have a good 
think." 

As the scope of the survey broadened, 
a link with immigration from Ireland 
became more and more convincing. That 
was the common factor in all of the areas 
where defective color vision was unusually 
prevalent. But the theory was not yet fully 
supported. Cobb needed to look al 
another region, one where the population 
could be divided into Celtic and 
non-Celtic, on a basis entirely separate 
from any religious affiliation. He was able 
to do that on several Hebridean islands, 
where he maintained a practice and'could 
simply ask about the forebears of people 
visiting him for an eye examination. The 
results confirmed Cobb's hypothesis. The 
ophthalmologist is now convinced that 
there are many communities in Scotland 
where defective color vision is strikingly 
common, and these are composed of folk 
descended from Irish immigrants arriving 
at the turn of the century. 

But why? Just as the potentially fatal 
sickle-cell trait protects carriers against 
malaria, the abnormality of color vision 
may have become more common, by 
selection, among people on whom it 
conferred some unrelaied advantage. Mo 
such benefit could be found. Then one 
of Cobb's students, James Birney, 
suggested another explanation — a 
fantastic one, but one that has stood up to 
critical scrutiny. The political troubles in 
Ireland coincided with the horrendous 
failure of the potato harvest. Conceivably, 
many of the people who left Ireland were 
those who, because of defective color 
vision, could not pick out the good 
potatoes from the bad. At first, Cobb and 
Birney treated this as a flippant flight of 
fancy. Now they are less inclined lo be so 
dismissive. The number of immigrants at 
the time of the blight, and the genetic 
analysis of their descendants, does 
indeed suggest that Birney's idea may be 
correct. Facf, to be sure, is often stranger 
than I'ction.DQ 



FILM 

THE ART5 



By James Delson 



In Omni's first issue a year ago I 
surveyed the upcoming science-fiction 
and fantasy films. That column covered 
a total of 26 pictures, only a fraction of the 
72 already released at the time of this 
writing. This month we'll update last year's 
list and look at what's in store for 1980. 

Though science-fiction films have only 
begun to establish themselves as serious 
drama, tney have proved fiscally sound. 
One SF film or another topped Variety's 
weekly list of 50 top-grossing films more 
than half the time. An average of 2 pictures 
appeared in the top 5, 3 in the top 10, and 
5 in the top 20 weekly for the past year. 

Though none of these films has 
garnered the incredible box-office profits" 
of the earlier Star Wars and Close 
Encounters of the Third Kind, several, 
notably Superman, Moonraker, Alien, The 
Amityville Horror, and Love at First Bite, 
grossed between $30 million and $100 
million each. Another dozen grossed more 
than $10 million, and 12 more topped 
$5 million at the box office. These 
unprecedented figures have made 1979- 
the most successful year in the history of 
science-fiction and fantasy films. 

SPACE OPERAS 

Following the awesome Star Wars. 
released in May 1977, it's hardly a surprise 
that no film has been able to match its 
thrills and excitement, although 11 have 
tried in the past year. The best in the field, 
Alien (20th Century-Fox) and Moonraker 
(United Artists), were original in concept, 
artful in presentation, and effective as 
lightweight summer entertainment. 

The incestuous nature of the 
special-effects field was obvious. 
Moonraker's director, Derek Meddings, 
was winner of this year's Academy Award 
for Superman , and Men's team shifted 
over almost intact to The Empire Strikes 
Backl Additional nods go to the 
outstanding creative talents of director 
Ridley Scott for his marvelous vision 
of space in Alien and to Ken Adam, 
production designer of Moonraker, the 
most complex film in the very complex 
James Bond series. 

The remaining space operas brought 

20 OMNI 



out during Omni's first year were generally 
low-budget spinoffs of Star Wars, with little 
original thought given to character, effects, 
or plot. Space Cruiser (Toei Company, 
Ltd.) presented an animated story 
of intergalactic warfare between 
sophisticated alien ships and the World 
War II Japanese battleship Yamato, raised 
from the floor of the Pacific and refitted for 
space travel. The Shape of Things to 
Come (Allied Artists), bearing virtually no 
resemblance to the outstanding film made 
in the 1930s under the guidance of H. G, 
Wells, was produced in Canada with 
bargain-basement effects and production 
values. The others were no better. 

Battlestar Galactica (Universal), Buck 
Rogers (Universal), and Destination: 
Moonbase Alpha (ITC). a feature-length 
version of the Space; 1999 series, were 
originally produced for television, then 
shown in movie houses to capitalize on 
popular interest. Though their excellently 
produced special effects worked on 
television, the enormous blowup to the big 
screen lacked the detail and excitement of 
films produced for release to theaters. By 
comparison, the rerelease of the original 
Buck Rogers (Crystal Pictures) proved 




Mateor i.'ie i'v;,ai ;:.' ia'"; 'r<rr. a ;!er specie 



that if a film has spirit and charm, its 
shoddy effects, production values, and 
nonexistent acting can be overlooked. 

The element of wonder so essential io 
this kind of film, was sorely lacking in most 
of 1979's space operas, and its absence 
made them more wooden and less 
charming than they should have been. It 
doesn't take a big budget to create 
character or to simulate hardware, as 
evidenced by Dark Star, the cult favorite 
that cost under $100,000 in 1975. 

Most important, most anticipated, and 
most welcome of the films now in 
production is 7ne Empire Strikes Back! 
(20th Century-Fox), the sequel to Star 
Wars. Reuniting the original cast (with the 
voice of Alec Guinness), the new film 
features more mythic creatures, battle's on 
an ice planet, and effects that promise to 
outdo those of the original. Hold your 
breath until May 25. 

Most of the big-budget hardware films 
now in production have had their share of 
postponed starting dates, replaced 
directors, dismissed effects teams, and 
canceled openings. Much of this trouble 
could have been avoided had there been 
proper preparation, which the rush to beat 
one another to the screen brushed aside. 
But Star Trek: The Motion Picture 
(Paramount), The Black Hole (Disney), 
Meteor (American International), Saturn 3 
(ITC), and Flash Gordon (Dino De 
Laurentiis) are all finally on their way to 
general release. 

The sole low-budget entry confirmed in 
the space race is Battle Beyond the Stars 
(New World), a derivation of Akira 
Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai. Other 
inexpensive space operas will appear 
Ihroughout the year from Italy. Japan, and 
the United States. You can expect revivals 
of classics as distributors learn that 
audiences want to see good films, not just 
new ones. 
ALIEN INVASIONS 

Films about alien invaders have usually 
been low-budget horror quickies, with a 
biped monsler carrying off a scientist's 
daughter and with the rest of the world 
trying to blow the creature to smithereens. 



This year there were a few switches on the 
basic theme, including one of the year's 
top films, Philip Kaufman's remake of 
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (United 
Artists). Extraterrestrial seed pods travel 
through space and sprout on Earth, taking 
on the form of human beings and 
compelling the population to their will. 

The continuing phenomenon of the 
Rocky Horror Picture Show (20th Century- 
Fox) bears mention here. Produced in 
1975, but never given a regular commercial 
release, it has been playing once or twice a 
week in midnight shows across the country 
ever since. A marvelous, campy musical 
satire on science- fiction films, with book, 
music, and lyrics by Richard O'Brien, the 
film has grossed well over $12 million to 
date. 

With the film companies putting their big 
money for the next season behind space 
operas, little was lett over for horror 
chillers. The Dark (Cinema Shares 
International) was originally planned as a 
project for Tobe (The Texas Chainsaw 
Massacre) Hooper, but Hooper dropped 
out just before shooting began, leaving the 
rest of the production team to cope with an 
alien who chops off people's heads or kills 
them with his laser vision. The Gendarme 
and the Extraterrestrials, a French comedy 
about aliens invading the Riviera, has 
already outgrossed Superman in France. 
Time Warp (Compass International) will be 
atale of intergalactic travel through a 
"dimensional whirlpool." Foes suggests *■ 
that flying saucers are still visiting Earth. 
SCIENCE GONE AWRY 

Despite all the publicity nuclear power 
has received in recent years, it took two 
accidents to bring the problem to the fore 
this year. If The China Syndrome had been 
released after the Three Mile Island 
accident, it would have been considered-a 



rip-off. If there had been no film, the 
excitement might have died down sooner. 
But the coincidence of the film's release 
just before the near-meltdown in 
Pennsylvania meant additional press for 
both. The China Syndrome might have 
been just another melodrama. Instead it 
became one of the year's most important 
films. 

Science bungled or misused also 
figured in a number of other films released 
in 1979. There were horrifi c cloning 
experiments to resurrect the Third Reich in 
The Boys from Brazil (20th Century-Fox); 
more Ubermensch medicine to create 
water-breathing soldiers in Shock Waves 
(Cinema Shares International); a mutant 
created by industrial waste in Prophecy 
(Paramount); and an astronaut afflicted 
with a disease that forces him to eat 
human flesh or else disiniegrafe in The 
Incredible Melting Man (American 
International). 

Next year's films seem primarily 
concerned wifh the brain, but other 
focuses share the spotlight. Altered States 
(Warner Bros.) presents a somewhat 
metaphysical transformation of man into 
primate. Directed by Ken Russell from a 
screenplay and novel by Paddy 
Chayefsky, with special effects by John 
Dykstra, it looms as one of the year's major 
pictures. Meltdown is a nuclear-accident 
drama written and directed by John 
Car center, one of the hottest young 
directors in the business since his 
successes with Dark Star, Assault on 
Precinct Thirteen, and Halloween. 

Originally scheduled for Carpenter but 
now lacking a director is Brainstorm 
(Sandy Howard Productions), a murder 
mystery with genetic overtones. Death 
Watch deals with neurological death in a 
deathless society. Human Experiments 
examines a psychotic prison psychiatrist 




In Saturn 3, robols both help and hir.rle; -Jig film's s'.urs: 
22 OMNI 



who plans to reform criminals from their 
antisocial patterns by reworking their 
brains through extreme mental cruelty. 

The Incredible Hulk (Universal) will be 
adapted from TV for European distribution. 
The Fishmen will follow in the webbed 
footsteps of Shock Waves, showing men 
"created" to work underwater who prove to 
be more trouble than expected. The 
Incredible Shrinking Woman, starring Lily 
Tomlin, will finally go into production in 
January. And Simon (Orion), the first film 
written and directed by Marshall 
Brickman, will examine computer 
manipulation. 

THE SUPERNATURAL ~ 

Receiving only average attention before 
its midsummer opening. The Amityville 
Horror (American International) has turned 
out to be one of the year's top-grossing 
films. A "true" story about a house 
containing the "entrance to hell,"' it was 
dramatically disappointing because once 
the entrance was shown, no one had the 
guts to go and see what things were like 
down there. Perhaps in a sequel? 

Other major tales this year included 
Carpenter's Halloween (Coinpass 
International), a film that cost $320,000 but 
that has grossed 50 times that at.the box 
office. Its ratio of dollars spent to dollars 
earned makes Carpenter the most 
successful filmmaker of the year. Dawn ot 
the Dead (United Film Distributors), the 
second of the three "Dead" films directed 
by George Romero, grossed audiences 
out for the sheer amount of blood and* 
brains spilled and made a tidy profit at the 
same time. The Exorcist (Warner Bros.) 
was reissued this summer with a newly 
mixed sound track, which improved its 
already excellent production values. And 
though it received little notice from general 
audiences, The Wicker Man was a 
remarkable story of paganism by Anthony 
Schaffer, author of Sleuth. 

Most supernatural stories seem to 
emerge from the woodwork, play out their 
brief runs, and then migrate to television; 
they don't have a lot of advance publicity. 
Only two films of any consequence have 
been announced in this genre. Stanley 
Kubrick, the world's leading director, even 
though he produces films only two or three 
times a decade, is readying The Shining 
(Warner Bros.) for showing next spring. 
Based on the terrifying novel by Stephen 
King, the Kubrick film stars Jack Nicholson 
and Shelley Duvall. Carpenter, who is 
suddenly everywhere at once, is presenting 
his new supernatural suspense film, The 
Fog (Avco Embassy), early in the year 

Whether by coincidence or through 
timely planning, the past year has seen 12 
vampire films in circulation. The best of the 
lot, John Badham's Dracula (Universal), 
starred Frank Langella as the count and 
Laurence Olivier as his nemesis. Van 
Helsing. With stylish, though misdated, 
sets and costumes and excellent matte 
work for the backgrounds, the film just 



missed being a classic. Though many 
thought the campy vampirism of Love at 
First Bite (American International) would 
be too ghoulish for a mass audience, it 
turned out to be one of Ihe year's biggest 
hits. 

The other films in this year's cycle of 
vampire pictures comprised a mixed bag 
of comedy drama, and rip-off. Werner 
Herzog's almost shot-for-shot remake 
(20th Century-Fox) of F. W. Murnau's silent 
classic Nosferatu was a lifeless letdown. 
The only saving grace of three cheapo 
exploitation films, Mary Mary, Bloody 
Mary, Vampire Hookers (Capricorn Three), 
a'nd Nocturna (Compass International), 
was John Carradine's playing Dracula in 
all of them. Nightwing (Columbia) was a 
tale of vampire bats. Count Dracula and 
His Vampire Bride, starring Christopher 
Lee and Peter Gushing, the leading lights 
of the horror-film field, was a disappointing 
story with dated effects. Thirst was the first 
Australian vampire film, and The True Story 
of Dracula, a Romanian picture, was the 
first historical reenactment of the life of 
Vlad the Impaler, who inspired the Dracula 
legend. 

Though no further vampire films have 
begun production, four pictures have 
been announced: Divorce, Vampire Style, 
a sequel to Love at First Bite; Interview 
with the Vampire (Paramount), based on 
the best-seller by Anne Rice; Sa'em's Lot 
(Warner Bros.), based on Stephen King's 
novel; and an untitled film to be directed 
for American International by Roger 
Vadim. 
DOCUMENTARIES 

Neglected for the past decade, the 
documentary seems to be on the 
ascendancy again, especially in science. 
Dolphin was a well-intentioned but 
overlong attempt to portray the creatures 



in afriendly light. Genesis, produced for 
the William L McKnight Omnitheatre of the 
Minnesota Science Museum, was an 
incredible success. Gizmo! (New Line) 
was a history of creative inventions. The 
Late Great Plane! Earth (Pacific 
International), narrated by Orson Welles, 
featured predictions from the last book 
of the New Testament and a 
semidocumentary iook at the end of the 
world. No Ac! o! God (National Film Board 
of Canada) stirred up a controversy in 
Canada because of its forecast that the 
spread of nuclear power could lead to an 
increase in terrorism. 

The Space Movie , the only upcoming 
documentary on the list, is a compilation of 
U.S. and Russian space footage, with 
music by Mike Oldfield. It's being billed as 
"the most expensive film ever made" 
because of the amount of money that was 
spent in putting the cameras into space to 
photograph its wonders , 

FANTASY 

Fantasy films are slowly gaining in 
budgets, creativity, and audience levels 
and may rival the hardware film for 
leadership during the t980s. There are 
three reasons why fantasy is on the rise: 
Superman (Warner Bros.), the most 
popular film of the past year; Lord of the 
Rings (United Artists), which proved the 
potential of animation in mass-market 
adventures; and Quintet (20th 
Century-Fox), which, although a 
box-office failure, was the first of the new 
fantasy films to attract the talents of a 
leading "art" director. Robert Altmair. 

Some other popular films this year were 
Time after Time (Warner Bros.), Nicholas 
Meyer's fanciful tale of H. G. Wells chasing 
Jack the Ripper through time; 
Americathon (United Artists), a comic 
swipe at telethons, the government, and 



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24 OMNI 



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It's five miles wide... it's coming at 30,000 m.p.h.... 
ami there's no place on Earth to hide! 



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;: ARNOLD 0RG0L1M THEODORE PARVIN '"JNMlif;; 



PEAKING ENGLISH IN SPACE 



By Patrick Moore 



Last July 18 the Soviet Union sent 
the first fuil-sized radiotelescope 
into space. The device, KRT 10, is 
a ten-meter parabolic antenna backed by 
sensitive multichannel receivers and every 
other "mod con." It was taken up by the 
unmanned space freighter Progress 7 and 
turned over to cosmonauts Vladimir 
Lyakov and Valeri Ryumin in the Salyu! 6 
station. It is being used in partnership with 
a 70-meter dish located in the Crimea. 

The system has one telling advantage 
over previous equipment. The longer an 
antenna system's "baseline," the distance 
between its separate radiotelescopes, the 
more detail it can perceive. And at times 
KRT 10 and the Crimean instrument will be 
separated by a lull 10,000 kilometers. The 
combination should be able to pinpoint 
small radio sources very precisely, 
perhaps even to measure their diameters. 

Personally I'd like to look iurther into the 
radiotelescope's future in space. Will they 
ever pick up intelligent signals from other 
stars? That s their greatest promise. 

The trouble is, light pokes along at a 
mere 300,000 kilometers per second. 
Send a message to, say, Tau Ceti — one of 
the nearest stars similar to our sun and 
one that could well be ringed with 
planets — and you can't hope lor a reply in 
less than 22 years. If Tau Cetians could 
pick up our television programs, they 
would not yet have seen Neil Armstrong 
step out onto the surface ot the moon. 
Beyond about 70 light-years, no one can 



'.now aT/hung about our civil zation. 
Powerful radio transmissions tirst left Earth 
much less than a century ago and have 
not yet penetrated far into space. To a 
being on a planet circling the star Alkaid, 
210 light-years away, Earth would still be 
absolutely "radio quiet." 

And yet, according to modern physics, 
radio is our only hope of picking up an 
intelligent signal from space. Sending 
an interstellar probe woud take too 
long — roughly 50 years even for nearby 
Alpha Centauri— even if we had the 
technology and funds to accomplish it, But 
radio is too slow for much dialogue. The 
most we can hope from it is to establish.the 
existence (or, more accurately, the former 
existence] of another civilization. 

If it's quick, convenient exchanges we 
want, we must look into such exotic ■ 
techniques as telepathy and teleportation. 
I am no believer in flying saucers, but I 
doubt that contact by one of these 
unproved technologies s Quite out of the 
question. (In fact. I would not even 
discount the possible existence of flying 
saucers. I simply don't believe that there is 
any valid proof that we have been visited 
by them. We may yet find such proof.) 

Then what about communication? I'd 
like to suggest a possibility thai may 
sound outrageous. I maintain that it is 
entirely sensible. I believe that if aliens can 
get in touch with us directly - and have 
any wish to do so— they will contact us in 
some recognizable language; and they 




a radiotelescope; the USSR's Ratari-600 is.the world's largest 



will most probably choose English. 

Let's assume that a "manned" probe 
has arrived from some planet orbiting a 
distant star. (Just how it makes the journey 
is irrelevant. Assume that they use 
teleportation, if you like.) The first thing our 
visitors will do is hide until they find out just 
what kind of beings we are. If they arrive in 
the middle of a global war. tney may 
decide to sneak away and hope that we 
remain isolated. 

If they decide to approach us, though. 
their best technique is not hard to figure. 
Beings intelligent enough to make an 
interstellar voyage without taking 
thousands or millions of years about it 
should surely have no trouble learning our 
speech, Still unannounced, they will 
monitor our radio and television stations. • 
recording our languages. Eventually, they 
will select one to use in contacting us. I 
propose English partly because it is used 
all over the world and partly because, as 
an Englishman. I find it much more logical 
than any other tongue. 

Picture the scene aboard the alien 
ship: Linguists will hold earnest classes. 
Crew members will struggle to pronounce 
our words recognizably. Conversations will 
be held, and tests will be administered. At 
last there will be enough English-speakers 
to cope with any emergency. Then they 
will reveal themselves. 

Of course they will face problems other 
than language, esoec ally ii tney look too 
completely inhuman. But if the alien ship 
can land, blaring out greetings in plain 
English, we will at least have proof that we 
are dealing with beings as rational and 
intelligent as we are. In fact, they will 
almost certainly be a great deal more 
rational. 

Today this is only a fantasy. Someday it 
could be far more. When contact is made, 
if it is made, language will be a vital key to 
interstellar friendship. An alien who steps 
from his spacecraft, waves his tentacles, 
and says, "Wzzzk bdoj oofgj?" will be met 
with fear. If he bows politely and says, 
"Good morning. I am from Delia Pavonis 
C. May we disembark, please?" he will be 
treated wilh respect. 

At least, I hope he will. DO 



ALIEN METAi 



UFD UPDATE 



By Harry Lebelson 



Physical evidence remains the 
decisive factor in the search for 
UFOs, but would finding it really 
be enough to prove their existence? 
People assume lhat if the evidence itself 
were alien to anything we know on Earth. 
verification ol its being extraterrestrial 
would be immediate. If, however, the 
article were made of materials familar to 
us. its authenticity would likely be 
doubted. 

This problem surfaced recently when 
Omni acquired two metal samples 
purported to be extraterrestrial. The 
bizarre circumstances surrounding their 
discovery led the magazine to commission 
an analysis of the samples by the 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
(MIT) in Cambridge. But to understand 
better the significance of both specimens, 
some background regarding their 
appearance is in order. 

The most intriguing of the two 
specimens is the U.batuba, Brazil, 
magnesium sample, reputed to be part of 
an unidentified flying object that exploded 
off the coast of Brazil in 1957. The other 
specimen, a seven-centimeter metallic bar 
etched with symbols, allegedly 
materialized in the Charleston, South 
Carolina, home of William Herrmann, The 
metal ingot is supposedly a "gift of 
friendship" from extraterrestrial visitors. 

On September 14, 1957. Ibrahim Sued, 
a well-known Rio de Janeiro columnist, 
received a strange letter from one of his 
readers. A fisherman who was fishing with 
some friends near the town ot Ubatuba, 
Sao Paolo, Brazil, reported that they had 
seen a disk maneuvering at unbelievable 
speeds in the sky. Suddenly the object 
made a sharp upward turn, climbed 
rapidly, and exploded into flames, sending 
thousands of fiery fragments into the sea. 
A small number of these pieces fell close 
to the beach and were picked up by the 
fishermen. Three small fragments were 
sent to Sued, who sent them to the iate Dr. 
Olavo Fontes. the Brazilian representative 
of the Aerial Phenomena Research 
Organization (APRO). The fragments were 
of a fissured, dark gray, and highly 
oxidized metallic substance. A white 
30 OMNI 



pcwde r y substance was seen in the 
cracks of the samples. 

Upon receiving the pieces, Fontes kept 
one and sent the two others to APRO in 
Tucson, Arizona. In an attempt to analyze 
the material, Fontes submitted his sample 
to the National Department of Mineral 
Production of the Agriculture Ministry of 
Brazil, Dr. Luisa tvlariaA. Barbosa, a 
chemist-technologist, reported that "the 
soecirographic analys s snowed the 
presence of magnesium of a high degree 
of purity and the absence of any other 
metallic element." To ensure the accuracy 
of this report, an additional 
spectrographic analysis was made by 
Els'on Teixeira. He stated that "'the 
spectrographic analysis identified the 
unknown metal as magnesium and 
showed it to be absolutely pure. No 
impurity or other mcta was detected in the 
sample analyzed; even trace elements, 
usually found with any metal, were not 
present." Additional analyses were made 
of the metal, two of which were done by 
the Brazilian Army and Navy. The results of 
these additional tests are unknown, 
however Unfortunately, because of 
extensive laboratory testing, sample 1 has 
been completely oxidized. 

Meanwhile, in the United States. APRO, 
which had possession of the two 
remaining samples, submitted a portion of 
sample 2 to a U.S. Air Force 




Ubatuba magt't&i:!:: 'ragmsni aria'yzed ty Mi I. 



spectrographic laboratory for analysis. For 
unknown reasons, the entire piece was 
burned before conclusive results could be 
obtained. The air force requested another 
sample, but APRO refused the request. 
The next series of tests was conducted by 
the Atomic Energy Commission's Oak 
Ridge National Laboratory on another 
portion of sample 2, The results of this 
analysis showed that sample 2 was less 
_pure than sample 1 was reported to be by 
.'the Brazilian scientists. A comparison of 
.the test results of all three samples shows 
that each varies in purity. 

In his 1969 study of the Ubatuba 
magnesium samples, Dr. Walter W Walker, 
who has a Ph.D. in metallurgy, stated, "The 
Ubatuba magnesium has been widely 
acclaimed as direct physical evidence of 
the extraterrestrial nature of UFOs. But. as 
of the present, after more than a decade of 
investigation, the extraterrestrial nature of 
the Ubatuba material has yet to be 
conclusively proved or disproved. The 
lack of subsequent verification of the 
Ubatuba purity has been the reason that 
all investigations to date have discounted 
extraterrestrial origin." Walker continues: 
"Little further study along the line of 
chemical analysis would be fruitful. It is 
also apparent that the structural aspects 
of the Ubatuba samples have been 
ignored. These are the aspects that show 
the most promise for further study." 

Now, ten years later, the controversy still 
persists. Advocates and detractors alike 
continue to voice their opinions. Carl 
Sagan. a professor of astronomy at Cornell 
University, states, "There have been 
debates on the purity of magnesium 
samples from purported crashed UFOs, 
but their purity was within the competence 
of American technology at the lime of the 
incident." Yet a two-page CIA 
foreign-intelligcr.ee information report, 
obtained under the Freedom of 
Information Act and dated January 29, 
1976, states, "There is a rumor that 
fragments of a possible UFO found in 
Brazil bore a relationship to super- 
conductors and magneto- 
hydrodynamics." 

Omni's own efforts to clarify the mystery 

CONTINUED ON PAGE 132 



coruTinjuurui 



THE EMPEROR'S NEWCDTHE 



The fabled emperor was sold a bill o( goods— fast -talked 
into laying out a lot of gold for some fancy threads that 
didn't exist. The swindling salesman told him that only 
people with very fine taste could actually see the fabu- 

:>js garments, and the emperor took the bait. Like him, the entire 
-oyal entourage and palace guard refused to admit that they 
wouldn't seethe invisible outfit, called it the dernier cri, and sent 
jbe emperor out on parade in his birthday suit. Only when a little 
Doy in the crowd shouted out that the emperor was naked did 
anyone react to the already obvious fact. 

Unfortunately, however, nobody was taken by the prime minis- 
ter's new clothes, which were not only tangible but sensible. 
Earlier this year, in the heat of the Japanese June, Prime Minister 
Masayoshi Ohira appeared before press photographers and 
Television cameras, modeling a suit of clothes with a short- 
s i eeved jacket, designed for businessmen to wear in un-air- 
;onditioned offices. The prime minister's new clothes were a call 
to action in a country that has no oil of its own and that is 
experiencing a fuel shortage. But the idea fell flat. Sales of the 

energy-saving" jacket were abysmally low. And Mr Ohira himself 
eventually renounced it. 

if Mr Ohira sweated through the summer while air conditioning 
*as cut back, at least he had lots of company. The Japanese 
^or&gn Ministry urged diplomats to forsake jackets and ties, but 
none of them did. At the Dai-lchi Kangyo Bank, the largest in 
_apan, employees were told not to wear neckties at work, unless 
cf course they handled a tie manufacturer's accounts. (Despite 
ms courtesy, the Kansai Cooperative of Necktie Commerce and 

ndustry boycotted the bank because of its no-necktie edict and 
•egistered a complaint with the Ministry of International Trade.) 
Here in the United States, where the oil situation and the 
summer weather were just as troublesome, conservative at- 
itudes kept most people from being able to tolerate conservation 

n comfort. First, President Carter decreed that public places 
should be no cooler than 78° R which raised the question, "What 
snail I wear?" to a new level of importance, The President's 
□esignated new secretary of Energy, Charles W Duncan, Jr., 
'esponded appropriately: He smiled and stripped off his jacket 
*nite the Senate Energy Committee debated his confirmation in a 
sweltering hearing room. 



But House Speaker Tip O'Neill would brook no dishabiile on 
the House floor When Representative Jim Mattox, casually de- 
void of jacket and tie, tried to discuss the subject of casual 
summer dress in Congress, the speaker refused to recognize 
him, saying, "I will ask the gentleman from Texas to remove 
himself from the floor and return in proper dress, The gentleman 
can address the House at such time as he is in the proper dress. 
The gentleman is embarrassing the chair. I don't know if he is- 
embarrassing himself." (And both of them Democrats!) When it 
got around to a formal vote on the matter later that same after- 
noon (July 17, just one day after the new ruling took effect), the 
House trounced all hope of working in shirt sleeves, 303 to 105. 

"I still say there's no need for a rag around your neck and the 
like in these temperatures," Mr. Mattox said heatedly. "The Presi- 
dent said change our ways, and we could have done it and seta 
mighty good example for the rest of the nation," 

Meanwhile restaurant and theater owners begged unsuccess- 
fully to be exempted from the regulations, so that they could 
compete with the comfort level of private homes. They argued 
that patrons would rather cook coo! than eat out and that hot 
critics would pan the best of Broadway. Special dispensation 
was granted, however, to hospitals, elementary schools, 
museums, hotels, and buildings for equipment, plants, or ani- 
mals that require special temperatures. Any employer or em- 
ployee who suggested that human beings fit that latter category 
was rebuffed with a Hurry of data from scientific investigations 
proving otherwise. Even the American Society of Heating, Re- 
frigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers said that genuine 
impairment of human performance doesn't set in below 86° R 

All the experts offered the same advice to sufferers: "Wear 
less," they said. But the people wore more. Caught between the 
oil magnates, the dress codes of the workplace, and the manu- 
facturers of ties and pantyhose— and lacking leadership to cast 
off their layers— they just wilted. 

The wintertime energy conservation ruling, which limits am- 
bient indoor temperatures to 65° R is much easier to take, since 
long underwear, sweater vests, jackets, extra socks, or the like 
can make up for a flagging thermostat without flouting fashion. 
When warm weather returns next summer, though, we'll have to 
face the stickier questions all over again. —DAVA SOBEL 



coruTiruuurm 



SUPERSAURUS 

Vital statistics: height, 50 
feet; length, 80 to 90 feet: 
weight, 80 to 90 tons. No, it's 
not a ferryboat or an apart- 
ment house, but a dinosaur 
discovered last summer in a 
slope of the Rocky Moun- 
tains in western Colorado, 
Not only is it the biggest di- 
nosaur ever found; it is the 
biggest land animal as well. 

Paleontologist Dr James 
A. Jensen, of Brigham Young 
University, in Provo, Utah, 
who found the huge reptile, 
says it could have peered in 
a top-floor window of a five- 
story building, supposing 
that one existed 140 million 
years ago, when the di- 
nosaur was alive. 

Thus far Dr Jensen has 
found the animal's shoulder 
blade, nine feet long; a rib 
vertebra, four and a half feet 
long; a neck vertebra, about 
the same length; and ribs 
ten feet long. Although no 



Brachiosaurus mode!: New 
dinosaur is simitar, but bigger. 

36 OMNI 



leg bones have been un- 
earthed, Jensen estimates 
the leg height at 18 feet. 

The Colorado dinosaur 
was a brachiosaurid, a 
member o( a group of 
plant-ealing dinosaurs with 
columnlike legs, long. 
giraffelike necks for reach- 
ing foliage on trees, and 
small heads with small 
brains. Until recently only 
one was known, a 40-foot- 
high animal found in Africa 
whose skeleton is now in a 
museum in Beriin, Germany 
In 1972, near the site where 
he is now digging, Jensen 
round an eight-foot-long 
brachiosaurid shoulder 
blade from a beast bigger 
than the African specimen 
but smaller than his most re- 
cent find. 

He thinks that the Col- 
orado giants probably died 
near the banks ot a river and 
that their bones were 
pushed downriver in a "bone 
jam," which was later cov- 
ered by a mountain. ThB de- 
posit has been eroding, and 
some bones may have dis- 
appeared. Next year Jensen 
will be back at the site for the 
sixth year, looking for more 
bones from the largest di- 
nosaur, 

"I don't anticipate finding 
enough bones to put a whole 
skeleton together, but I 
hope— I live on hope," he 
says. — Barbara Ford 

"The most important fact 
about Spaceship Earth: an 
instruction book didn't come 

with it." 

—Buckminster Fuller 

"Science is the religion of the 
suburbs. " 

-William Butler Yeats 



CLOSE SHAVE 

Shaving every day is a 
nuisance for any man, but 
blacks in the armed forces 
may find it painful, 




Ac! or Jim B'Q.-vi' models cure lor 
shaving bumps: A beard. 
infection-producing, and 
even litigation-provoking. 

To get the close shave that 
military regulations require, a 
man has to pull his face taut 
and cut his beard off below 
the level of the relaxed skin. 
If the hair follicles are 
curved, which is so tor most 
black men, the hair curls as 
il grows back in, burrowing 
Into the skin rather than 
heading straight out. The 
skin reacts to the puncture 
just as it would to a splinter 
of wood or metal: It becomes 
inflamed, sometimes in- 
fected, and the infections 
can become abscesses. 
Since the neck is the likeliest 
site for this condition — 
called shaving bumps or 
pseudofoliiculitis barbae— 
some sufferers find every 



nod or turn of the head to be 
excruciating. 

The cure? Simple. Grow a 
beard. Unless, of course, 
you're in the army now. Then 
you may have to fight for 
that right. 

Repeatedly black ser- 
vicemen have brought suit 
against the military, charging 
that its shaving regulations 
are discriminatory. (Shaving 
bumps may occur among 
whites, but they are rarely as 
painful.) 

!y now, according to a 
spokesman for the National 
Association tor the Advance- 
ment of Colored People, 
the NAACP's Military and 
Veterans' Affairs Office has. 
standard operating pro- 
cedures for helping enlisted 
men with a medical need to 
go bearded, 

"Learning is discovering that 
something is possible." 

-Fritz Perls 

PREGNANT MEN 

If a woman without a 
uterus can carry and bear a 
child, as happened recently 
in New Zealand, what's to 
stop a man from trying to 
become pregnant? Theoreti- 
cally, he could donate his 
own sperm for in vitro fertili- 
zation of an egg and have 
the embryo implanted 
somewhere in his abdomen, 
then wait the required time 
for delivery by Cesarean 
section. 

(The New Zealand woman 
was able to give birth de- 
spite a hysterectomy, be- 
cause an errant fertilized 
egg lodged in her abdomen, 
where it received enough nu- 
trients to grow to term.) 



Robert Creasy, M.D, of the 
University of California med- 
ical school, is worried that 
this idea may take hold of the 
popular imagination. He is 
worried because a recent ar- 
ticle in the National Enquirer, 
linking his name to the New 
Zealand event, brought him 
more mail than he could 
possibly answer, 

"It's theoretically possi- 
ble," Dr. Creasy says, "but 
highly dangerous and inap- 
propriate to even attempt 
such a thing, in a man or a 
woman," 

In the course of normal 
obstetrical practice, he 
adds, doctors periodically 
see women with embryos 
that have implanted them- 
selves outside the uterus for 
a variety of physiological 
reasons, Creasy says the 
risk of this condition to the 
mother's health is so great 
that she should be operated 
upon immediately to remove 
the fetus, — Dava Sobel 




to become pregnant. 



PIGEON PILOTS 

The newest technological 
innovation in sea rescues: 
pigeons. In an efiortto 
improve the 40-percent 
detection rate of human 
helicopter crews at finding 
survivors at sea, the Naval 
Oceans Systems Center, in 
Honolulu, Hawaii, is training 
a few pigeons. Researchers 
believe that the birds, 
strapped to the underside of 
the "helicopter, could spot 
survivors 90 percent of 
the time. 

The birds are being 
trained to peck at a switch 
when they see the color 
orange, often used in life 
vests; yellow, the color of 
most life rafts; and red, from 
flares. The switch is 
connected to a light in the 
cockpit, telling the pilot 
where to look— and which 
bird to reward with food. 

Douglas Conley a Coast 
Guard electronics engineer, 
who conceived the program, 
said the pigeons have keen 
eyesight and a long attention 
span. In tests the pigeons 
have spotted a sixteen-inch 
practice buoy from a 
helicopter traveling at 100 
miles an hour 500 feet high 
and a quarter mile away. The 
research program began 
about two years ago and will 
be ready for operation in 
another two years. 

Asked why he chose 
ordinary pigeons, Conley 
said, "They're cheap, docile, 
and very light." As for the 
proverbial dumbness of 
pigeons, Conley added, 
"They find the target long 
before the pilots do. They 
can't be too dumb." 

■ —Stuart Diamond 



3D TV 

Citizens of Sydney, 
Australia, are seeing 

something new on station 
TVN-9 these days: 



air so that it is entirely 

compatible with 
conventional color 
televisions. The viewer has 
only to buy the special 
glasses, which, according to 




three-dimensional color 
television. Wearing special 
glasses, viewers can 
perceive depth in what 
otherwise looks like an 
ordinary flat TV image. 

Developed by Digital 
Optical Technology Systems 
(DOTS), of Amsterdam, the 
Netherlands, the system 
works by discriminating 
focus and color elements of 
the image to produce a 
small fringing of color, barely 
visible to the naked eye, 
around the edges of the 
objects in the image. When 
viewed through the glasses, 
which are colored differently 
on either side, the scene 
appears in three dimensions. 

Using the DOTS system, 
3D is encoded into the 
signal transmitted over the 



Nat Myers, of the Ancom 
Company. American 
distributor of DOTS, cost 
from $2 to $14. 

The fringing effect can be 
produced optically by 
means of filters and lenses 
as well as digitally through a 
computer, allowing the 
technique to be used in a 
variety of ditf erent media. 
For instance, using the 
digital method, film originally 
shot in 2D can be converted 
for 3D viewing. Or, by 
installing the filters in a 
conventional camera, 3D 
photographs can be taken. 
— KieranColman 

"Just because everything is 
different doesn't mean that 
anything has changed." 

— San Francisco Oracle 



conjTiRJuuRn 



GAY VACCINE 

A possible vaccine lor a 
form of liver cancer is being 
tested upon a rather 
unconventional cross 
section of the 
population— gay men. 

The vaccine was originally 
tormulated to combat a 
sexually transmitted disease 
called type-B hepatitis, but 
Dr. Baruch Blumberg, of the 
Institute for Cancer 
Research, in Fox Chase, 
Pennsylvania, discovered 
that the vaccine might also 
work for a form of liver 
cancer called PHC. 

It seems that areas with a 
high incidence of type-B 
hepatitis also have high 
rates of PHC. Now it appears 
thai up to 90 percent of 
people with PHC also have 
chronic infections of type-B 
hepatitis. 

PHC isn't common in the 
United Slates, but it is in Asia 
and in Africa, where nearly 



everyone who contracts 
it dies. 

Small-scale tests of the 
vaccine, developed at the 
Merck institute for 
Therapeutic Research, in 
Wesl Point, Pennsylvania, 
are now under way in the 
People's Republic of China, 
France, and Korea. Also, a 
series of tests in five 
American cities is using 
homosexual men. 

Why? Researchers found 
type-B hepatitis to be quite 
common among gay 
men— in at least 45 percent 
of those tested. The disease 
virus is sexually transmitted 
and has been found in many 
bodily fluids, including saliva 
and semen. There's also a 
suspicion that the medical 
trauma associated with anal 
intercourse may be involved. 

Researchers such as 
Blumberg obviously hope 
that if the vaccine cuts down 
the incidence of type-B 
hepatitis in gay men and 




Homosexual men. shown here marching for human rights, may hold 
the key lo the cure of two diseases: hepatitis B and PHC liver cancer. 



others, it might also work for 
people afflicted with PHC. 

It is a long-term study 
Liver cancer takes 20 to 40 
years to develop. What's 
more, Mother Nature may be 
taking care of the PHC 
problem herself. Liver 
cancer is already 
decreasing in Africa, and no 
one knows why.— Joel Davis 

FUEL SAVER 

An automatic electronic 
"tuning" device, called the 
Optimizer, which can signifi- 
cantly reduce fuel consump- 
tion in automobiles, 
airplanes, and heating fur- 
naces, has been developed 
by engineers at Pennsylva- 
nia State University. 

"It's like having a me- 
chanic under the hood, ask- 
ing the engine what timing 
change is needed, and ad- 
justing the timing several 
times a second," says Dr. 
Paul H. Schweitzer, the in- 
ventor and professor 
emeritus of engineering re- 
search. 

The Optimizer could cut 
fuel consumption 10 percent 
or more in most cars and up 
to 20 percent in cars with 
poorly maintained, inefficient 
engines, he says. Not yet on 
the market, each such de- 
vice woutd cost about $10 in 
mass production, he adds. 

A box the size of a minia- 
ture cassette player, it would 
be wired to the distributor 
and electronic ignition or 
coil. It would reduce 
gasoline consumption by 
constantly changing spark- 
plug timing, then adjusting 
the distributor in response to 
driving conditions. The Op- 
timizer compensates for 



variables that waste fuel, 
such as outside temperature 
and humidity engine tem- 
perature, octane rating, and 
sudden bursts of speed or 
braking, explains Thomas W 




Collins, director of the uni- 
versity's electronic services 
and coholder of the patent. 
—Alton Blakeslee 



"Once in my life I would like 
to own something outright 
before it's broken. I'm always 
in a race with the junkyard! I 
just finish paying for the car 
and it's on its last legs. The 
refrigerator consumes bells 
like a goddamn maniac, 
They time these things. They 
time them so when you've 
finally paid for them, they're 
used up. " 

— Willy Loman in Arthur 
Miller's Death of a Salesman 



"The nation that controls 
magnetism controls the 
universe." 

—Dick Tracy 



UNLEADED PERUVIANS 

In the 4,500 years since 
humans first mined and 
smelted ores to extract their 

precious metals, the entire 



30 B.C.) mummies. 

Lead, the by-product of 
most metallurgical 
processes, is now a 
ubiquitous presence in 
everything from soil moisture 




world population has 
sustained increasingly 
higher— and potentially 
more dangerous- 
concentrations of lead in 
teeth and bones. The 
skeletons of contemporary 
Britons and Americans, for 
example, contain more than 
500 times as much lead as 
the normal biologic levels 
found recently in the bones 
of ancient Peruvians. 

Jonathan Ericson, Clair 
Patterson, and Hiroshi 
Shirahata, writing in the New 
England Journal of 
Medicine, have shown that 
the bones of the Peruvians, 
buried 1,600 years ago, 
contain considerably less 
lead than present-day 
samples, or even samples 
from Ptolemaic Era (323 to 



'.' Her 
ition, 

to the reagents and controls 
in laboratories. 
"Since prehistory," says 
Ericson, "we have been 
faced with someone else's 
pollution." 

The Peruvians have 
proved to be a highly 
accurate standard by which 
to measure lead levels. 
Metallurgy in South America 
lagged behind that of the 
Old World, and 
consequently the Andeans 
were not exposed to 
industrial lead, which is 
absorbed by plants and then 
travels up the food chain. 

In animals lead binds to 
calcium and sites where 
calcium is located, such as 
the central nervous system. 
"It messes about with the 
electronics of the synapses, " 



according to Ericson. 

In terms of world health, 
the significance of the 
enormous increases in 

biologic lead levels has yet 
to be studied, but scientists 
speculate that sterility and 
other problems that afflicted 
wealthy Romans during the 
height of the empire may be 
attributed to the inordinately 
high amounts of lead in their 
diet and plumbing systems. 
The Roman poor, whose lead 
levels were high, but not as 
high as the aristocrats', 
suffered fewer afflictions. 
An ominous sign is that 
present-day lead 
contamination, according to 
Ericson, is rapidly reaching 
the level of the Roman poor 
-Kathleen Stein 

ITCHING 

Itchiness is now a 
multimillion-dollar industry. 
Surveys have found that 
sales of itch suppressants 
applied to the skin have 
reached $11 million a year in 
the United States. 

The medical word for 
itchiness is pruritus, from the 
LaWnprurire, meaning "to 
itch. "Curiously, prurire is 
also the root of the word 
prurience, which means 
"sexual longing," or, 
colloquially "the sexual itch." 
Thus fortified with etymology. 
one easily sees how some 
lotions— those containing. 
menthol, phenol, or 
camphor— can relieve 
itchiness by substituting a 

ling of coldness, as in 
giving the itch a cold shower. 
' i fact, the traditional 
remedy for itching was an 
ice cube or cold compress. 
Ask a nationally known 



pruritus researcher for an 
operational definition of 
itchiness, and you get: "that 
which creates the desire to 
scratch," according to Dr. 
James H. Herndon, Jr., a 
Dallas, Texas, dermatologist. 

Dr. Herndon, former 
chairman of the dermatology 
department at Southwestern 
Medical School of the 
University of Texas, said 
itchiness, scientifically, is 
produced by enzymes 
located under the skin. Like 
pain, he said, itching is a 
warning sensation: It alerts 
people to insect biles. 
allergies, skin diseases, and 
other irritations so that they 
can take remedial action-. 

Many pruritus specialists 
believe that 20 to 30 percent 
of the victims of severe, 
chronic itchiness— nonspe- 
cific discomfort with no skin 
marks— are really suffering 
from an underlying disease, 
such as liver or bone 
disorders. — S.D. 



coruTiruuuon 



AGING CLUE 

Why people age and die 
has been a mystery puzzling 
humans for centuries. Now 
two scientists at the Delta 



villain or whether there's a 
third factor," Dr. Ordy says. In 
fact, the pigment may be a 
"savior." Lipofuscin acts as a 
"sink" for compounds 
formed during the aging 




Primate Research Center, in 
Louisiana, think they're hot 
on the trail of the culprit— a 
Gellular pigment called 
lipofuscin. 

Called the "wear and tear" 
pigment, lipofuscin 
accumulates in the tissue of 
certain parts of the brain as 
a person grows older 
according to Drs. Kenneth 
Brizzee and J. M. Ordy, who 
recently completed brain 
studies on 52 rhesus 
monkeys. 

The theory is that a 
buildup of lipofuscin may 
lead to the deterioration of 
some sensory, associative, 
and motor functions. But the 
doctors admit they've found 
a correlation, not a 
connection. "We're not sure 
yet whether lipofuscin is the 
40 "OMNI 



8-year-old monkey (left) has as,., _> 
v-otd (right) is 84 in human terms. 

process and may help 
immobilize enzymes that 
break down cells. 

But Ordy feels the 
research he and Dr. Brizzee 
are doing shows the 
opposite. "Lipofuscin begins 
accumulating in the tissue 
from birth, when it's about 
one percent. As one gets 
older it can make up as 
much as seventy percent of 
the total cytoplasm of a cell. 
There's got to be some 
interference because of 
that," he says. 

If lipofuscin does turn out 
to be the aging "villain," 
there's hope of a chemical 
method to slow or halt the 
aging process, It's known 
that some drugs inhibit 
lipofuscin accumulation. 
Ordy says. "In theory, one 



could develop other drugs" 
to halt the accumulation of 
the pigment in the tissues 
and thus arrest the aging 
process. "It's a hot area," 
says Ordy — J. D. 

NUCLEAR 
PACEMAKERS 

Are nuclear-powered 
pacemakers safe for their 
users? And the users' 
neighbors? The tentative 
answer is yes. considering 
the devices' good safety 
record since the first 
plutonium-238 pacemakers 
were implanted in 1973. Six 
years later some 3,000 have 
been implanted worldwide, 
and the medical establish- 
ment is now reviewing their 
success — and short- 
comings. 

Dr. Victor Parsonnet, of the 
Newark (New Jersey) Beth 
Israel Medical Center, where 
the first implantations were 
done, outlined some of the 
medical considerations for 
nuclear pacemakers at a 
recent meeting of the 
American Heart Association. 

Cost and lifetime were 
among the chief concerns, 
but another worry was 
possible contamination from 
the plutonium power pack. 
Such fears now appear to be 
partially ungrounded. 
Cancers have developed in 
five patients, but none of the 
tumors was near the power 
unit. Thirteen of the first 15 
patients to receive the units 
are still alive and well. 

But another concern has 
nothing to do with medi- 
cine—namely, the threat of 
terrorism, Could a dedi- 
cated gang of terrorists 
kidnap and murder enough 



pacemaker wearers in order 
to obtain sufficient plutonium 
for an atomic bomb? The 
answer to that is an 
unqualified no. The isotope 
in a pacemaker cannot be 
used to make a bomb. 
Plutonium-239 is used for 
that. However, the stuff is still 
poisonous. Only 0.0005 
microgram of plutonium-238 
is needed to cause severe 
radiation damage in 
humans. And a pacemaker 
contains quite a bit more 
than that— 160 milligrams, to 
be exact, according to Terry 
Kronher of Medtronics, Inc., 
which makes the devices. 
For those who are really 
paranoid, what about the 
possibility of a pacemaker 
user being caught in the 
crossfire of a gunfight, for 
example, and having his 
deadly plutonium supply 
scattered to the wind? Not to 
worry, says another 
Medtronics spokesman; 
Nuclear pacemakers have 




been dropped from 
airplanes, shot at with 
various firearms, and 
heat-tested, and not one ot 
them has ruptured. 

In any case, plutcnium 
pacemakers are being 
replaced by chemical ones, 
which should hare equally 
long life spans and pose less 
potential danger. — J. D. 

CATFISH 

Officials in DeKalb County, 
Georgia, have proposed an 
interesting alternative to an 
$85-million sewage- 
treatment plant: catfish. 

Instead of installing ad- 
vanced processing equip- 
ment, engineers would pipe 
the partially treated effluent 
from the Honey Creek sewer 
plant into ponds. There, the 
36 million gallons of daily 
sewage would cause algal 
blooms. Catfish in the ponds 
would eat the algae, The cat- 
fish would multiply. The extra 
catfish would be caught and 
used for chicken feed. The 
cycle would be completed. 

Sewage, rich in nutrients, 
is becoming increasingly 
promising these days as a 
future animal food. Since 
1975 steers in Denver, Col- 
orado, have been eating a 4- 
to 12-percent sludge diet, 
with no perceptible ill effects. 

In Albuquerque, New 
Mexico, scientists are 
sterilizing sludge with radia- 
tion. The sludge is then used 
as a soil conditioner and 
feed supplement for sheep 
and cattle. 

The sterilization solves the 
potential health hazard of 
pathogens. Another poten- 
tial hazard, concentration of 
metals in animal tissues, 



could be removed with more 
restrictions on industrial 
wastes discharged into 
sewer systems. 

Sludge handling and dis- 
posal costs $200 million per 




year nationally, or 40 percent 
o! all waste-water treatment. 
But if the sludge were re- 
claimed and sold as a prod- 
uct, its extra costs would be 
all but eliminated, studies 
indicate. — S.D. 

TUMBLEWEED WARS 

Thousands of hungry 
Pakistani moths have been 
imported into California in an 
effort to control biologically a 
plant that is not as harmless 
as it looks: tumbleweed. 

Also called Russian 
thistle, the roly-poly bush is a 
road and fire hazard and a 
general pain in the drain. It 
clogs flood-control 
channels, canal waters, and 
swimming pools. 

Imported into this country 



with flax shipments in the 
1800s, tumbleweed has no 
natural American predators, 
it spread rapidly from the 
Pacific Coast to the Midwest 
and is now moving easiward. 

In California the 
tumbleweed is particularly 
troublesome. "We spend a 
million dollars a year trying to 
control it or pick it up." said 
Dan Cassidy. of the state 
Department of Trans- 
portation. 

Since burning, chopping, 
crushing, and herbicides all 
failed to control ihe hardy 
bush, the state hired U.S. 
Department of Agriculture 
scientists to bring in 
Coleophora parthenica, 
cream-colored moths that 
feed only on tumbleweed 
and another pesty plant, the 
poisonous halogeton. 

"Where this moth comes 
from," Cassidy said, 
"Russian thistle doesn't 
become tumbleweed." 
Female moths lay eggs on 



the plant's stem. The eggs 
hatch into caterpillars that 
bore into the weed, stunting 
its growth or killing it. 

Biological pest control can 
be risky. Mongooses 
imported into Jamaica to kill 
rats that were destroying the 
sugar crop wreaked havoc 
on local fauna. Killer bees 
resulted when Brazil 
introduced a foreign species 
to improve the honey output 
of the native bee. But 
Cassidy said he isn't 
worried: "This question is 
always put to me. So I asked 
the scientists, 'Can these . 
bugs mutate into something 
dangerous in a thousand 
years?' They said, 'Hell, in a 
thousand years elephants 
might have wings.' " 

— Allan Maurer 



"The aims of scientific 
thought are to see the 
genera! in the particular and 
the eternal in the transitory." 
—Alfred North Whitehead 




coruTinjuuRJi 



WAR GAMES 

The U.S. Army plans to 
spend about $100 million 
during the next three years 
to arm about 39,000 soldiers 



and 6,000 vehicles with laser 
"guns." The lasers aren't in- 
tended to hurt anyone, how- 
ever: They're part oi a sys- 
tem that keeps score in war 
games, the mock battles in 
which soldiers practice their 
combat skills. 

The system, called MILES 
(Multiple integrated Laser 
Engagement System), is 
being built by the Xerox 
Corporation's Electro- 
Optical Systems Division In 
Pasadena. California. 

The lasers are attached to 
weapons that fire blank am- 
munition. When a gun is 
fired, the laser emits harm- 
less pulses of invisible in- 
frared light, coded to identify 
Ihe type of weapon. These 
pulses are detected by solar 
cells strapped on soldiers' 
42 OMNI 



backs and military vehicles. 
If a soldier is "hit," a buzzer 
sounds in his ear; a "hit" on a 
tank triggers a smoke gre- 
nade and a loud horn. To en- 
sure realism, the coding 
specifies the range and 
power of the weapon being 
simulated, thus making sure 
that only a rocket or missile 
can "kill" a tank. MILES also 
warns intended victims of 
near-misses. 

Xerox designed the sys- 
tem for the Department of 
Defense under a contract 
from the Naval Training 
Equipment Center in Or- 
lando, Florida. However, the 
first customer was the De- 
partment of Energy's Sandia 
Laboratories, where several 
systems are used in training 
guards to protect nuclear 
materials (see January 1979 
Continuum, page 40). 

— JeffHecht 

SPICE OF LIFE 

Plants that belong to the 
mint family not only add 
spice to life but can also be 
good for our health, says 
U.S. Department of 
Agriculture botanist Dr 
James A. Duke. 

Menthol and thyme, for 
example, are used for 
germicides, cough drops, 
and nasal inhalants in 
modern medicine, and just 
about every mint from basil 
to water mint turns up in folk 
medicine. 

Dr. Duke recently 
compiled a list of mint folk 
remedies for ailments that 
start with abscess (ground 
ivy) and end with wounds 
(hyssop, rosemary, and 
sage, among others). 
Besides the above, lavender, 



pennyroyal, peppermint, 
and marjoram are favorite 
folk medicines. 

Basil leaves and Spanish 
thyme, among other mints, 
are also high in certain 
vitamins and minerals. A few 
mints are good for adding 
fiber to the diet, particularly 
bushmint. 

But mints do have a bad 
side, Last year one person in 
this country died from 
consuming oil of pennyroyal, 
and deaths due to high 
concentrations of rosemary 
and lavender have been 
reported. The most deadly 
toxin in any mint is 
hydrocyanic acid, but it is 
found in only one, ocimum. 
Coumarin and isobutyric 
acid are also rather toxic, 
but fortunately they both are 
found only in lavender. 

Duke, a mint-tea drinker, 
thinks the danger posed by 



moderate consumption of 

mints is negligible. "My 
daughter makes popsicles 
out of mint tea," he 
says. — B.F 

"Jupiter's moons are 
invisible to the naked eye 
and therefore can have no 
influence on the earth, and 
therefore would be useless, 
and therefore do not exist. " 
—Pronouncement made by 
a group of Aristotelian 
contemporaries of Galileo, 
following his discovery of 
four Jovian moons 



"I could prove God 
statistically. " 

—George Gallup 



"They could have done it 
better with an ax." 

—George Westinghouse 
(after seeing first 

electric-chair execution) 




The world's only see-through simulator of a nuclear reactor was the 
"star witness" at a recent congressional subcommittee hearing on 
the Three Mile Island accident. Glen Schoessow, the University of 
Florida nuclear engineering professor who built the simulator, points 
out ihe containment structure to Congressman Don Fuqua (center). 



i^H 



^lliPNlSfe-- 



1111111 



The foe/ that could carry us 

beyond the solar system 

lies In cold storage near Geneva 



ANTIMATTER REVEALED 



BY ROBERT L. FORWARD 

You watch the screen. An 
aging beauty in Parts 
ponders the stocks you've 
suggested, Space 
Elevator and Anti-ERG. the 
new subsidiary oi Space 
Power General. Your eyes 
wander to the top of the 

screen. 15:55:03THURSDAY30 

JUNE 2033. 

"Thank God it's Thursday." 
you mutter as she finally 
decides to invest her 35,000 
credits in Anti-ERG. With 
relief, you place the buy order, 
make your monthly sales 
report to the home office, and 
switch off the console as the 
clock reaches 16:00:00. A 
hard day's work done, you 
deserve the long Fourth of 
July weekend you're about to 
spend at Luna's glamorous 
Sahara Copernicus, with its 
sun-baked spas, fabulous 
casinos, and nonstop 
entertainment. 

You step out into the Arizona 
sunshine, walk over to your 
AstroCruiser, and make sure 
that there is enough water in 
the tanks and plenty of 
antimatter in the super- 
conducting storage bottle. 
Then you take otf. 

Its power tightly reined, the 
Cruiser taxis into the desert, 
heading for a greenly glaring 
pillar of tire beaming into the 

PAINTING BY 
MATI KLARWEIN 



sky. Dozens of private 
Spacecraft are being boosted 
into tow Earth orbit by tugs 
that use the light of 
land-based lasers far brighter 
than the sun to heat water to a 
blazing exhaust too searing 
to be called steam. 

The waiting line is long: so 
you go into orbit, using 
antimatter, despite its high 
price per microgram. Invisible 
particles of antimatter are 
mixed with liters of water in the 
engines, and the jets flare with 
incandescent hydrogen and 
oxygen. At the nearest orbital 
station, you refill the tank with 
four tons of water, replace the 
antimatter with a new 
30-milligram capsule from the 
Anti-ERG station, and take off 
for the marvelous oasis 
382,000 kilometers away in 
space. 

Any such scenario brings 
up a couple of questions. Isn't 
antimatter just a science- 



Wrm&W) 



m 



fiction writer's dream? Can we really use it 
as fuel? And if we can use it, how soon? 

It turns out that we can. Even now, an- 
timatter is being made, captured, cooled, 
and stored for days at a time, In a little- 
recognized revolution, the human race is 
learning to harness the ultimate fuel. One of 
these days antimatter may allow us to travel 
the solar system as we now span the globe 
in our cars and private airplanes. 

To travel, you must use energy. To pro- 
duce energy, you must convert mass. Every 
time you burn a liter of gasoline, mass dis- 
appears. When gasoline is burned, a little 
of its mass is converted into energy, 
' With chemical fuels like gasoline and 
rocket propellants, the amount of mass 
converted to energy is only a few parts per 
billion. In fission reactors using uranium 
and plutonium, the amount of mass con- 
verted rises to a few parts per thousand. 
The fusion of hydrogen or deuterium con- 
verts almost 1 percent of the mass. Antimat- 
ter outshines all such fuels; fully 100 
percent of its mass is instantaneously 
converted into energy. 

That brings up some questions: What is 
antimatter? And what makes it anti? 

The answer lies in the atom, the knot of 
protons, neutrons, and electrons from 
which the world around us is made. Each of 
these particles consists of a bundle of raw 
energy wrapped by nature into a compact, 
long-lasting ball that we call matter. It is as if 
each particle had some special quantum 
mechanical "glue" holding it together. The 
type of glue that unites a particle deter- 
mines the amount of energy that can be 
bound and sets the properties ol the result- 
ing bundle. Each glue is unique. 

For each particle there is an antiparticle. 
The antineutron is almost identical to the 
neutron, but its magnetic field is reversed. 
The antiproton is a twin of the proton, but its 
charge is negative instead of positive. Simi- 
larly, the antielectron has a positive charge 
in contrast to the electron's equal, but 
negative, charge. 

There is one important difference be- 
tween the two forms of matter A particle of 
normal matter is held together with quan- 
tum mechanical glue. Antimatter particles 
are bound with "antiglue." 

Each glue is a solvent for the other When 
an antiparticle meets a particle of normal 
matter, the glues dissolve each other and 
the energy of the two particles is released 
in a microexplosion. The mass of both par- 
ticles is completely converted into energy. 
Antimatter would be the ultimate fuel for 
any energy need. It would be especially 
valuable in space, where its negligible 
launching weight would be an enormous 



Work on the generation and control of 
antimatter is taking place at Fermilab, in the 
United States, the Centre Europeen pour le 
Recherche Nucleaire (CERN), in Switzer- 
land, and Novosibirsk, in the Soviet Union. 
Scientists in these places are using huge 
accelerators to study these elementary 
particles. The particle accelerators com- 

46 OMNI 



bine electric, magnetic, and radio fields to 
increase the speed of electrons and pro- 
tons to nearly that of light 

The electron volt, or eV, is the unit of mea- 
sure used to describe the energy levels of 
particles in accelerators. A metal plate with 
a positive charge of one volt attracts nega- 
tively charged electrons. Just before they 
make contact with the plate, the electrons 
reach an energy of 1 eV 

Your television set produce's about 
20.000 volts, or 20 kilovolts (kV), in the pic- 
ture tube, The electrons in the tube there- 
fore reach an energy of 20 kilo electron 
volts (keV), just enough to make the phos- 
phor on the television screen glow. A 
million-volt machine can accelerate pro- 
tons and electrons to energies of 1 MeV At 1 
MeV. electrons move close to the speed of 
light. The heavier protons travel at only 5 
percent of the speed of light, their much 
greater mass compensating for their slower 
velocity to give them equal energy. 

It is difficult to produce energies greater 



£The United States, faced 

with a Soviet lead, 
is now developing weapons 

that will shoot 
down ballistic missiles with 

high-energy protons. 
They can easily be adapted 
to antimatter production:^ 



than a few MeV with electric fields because 
high voltages have a tendency to leak off 
into the air. However, once the electrons or 
the protons reach high speed, it is possible 
to send radio waves along the beam, if the 
radio waves are properly synchronized 
with their motion, charged particles can 
gain energy from them, just as a surfboard 
does Irom water. Energies of thousands of 
millions of electron volts, or giga-electron 
volts (GeV), have been attained by using 
this technique. Tera-electron-volt (TeV) 
machines, designed to produce beams 
1,000 times more powerful than that, are 
under construction. 

The energy bound in a proton's mass is 
0.931 GeV. Thus, any proton with an energy 
greater than 1 GeV has more energy in its 
motion than it has in its mass. So a proton 
moving at a number of GeV has within it 
enough energy to make another proton — 
or an antiproton. 

When the scientists at CERN, Fermilab, 
or Novosibirsk want some antiparticles lo 
play with, they take the proton beams cir- 
cling in their multikilometer accelerators, 
boost their energy levels to several GeV, 
and dump the high-energy protons into 



tungsten targets. As the rapidly moving 
protons strike the heavy tungsten nuclei, 
their energy is converted into a spray of 
gamma rays and a collection of elementary 
particles, including antiprotons, antielec- 
trons, and antineutrons, which move at 
nearly the speed of light. 

You'd think that capturing the rapidly 
moving antiprotons would be as impossible 
as trying to catch the bees from a kicked- 
over hive. But magnetic separators can 
easily route the negatively charged antipro- 
tons into a storage ring. 

The storage rings are large, doughnut- 
shaped magnets. The antiprotons enterthe 
magnet in a straight beam and are pushed 
to one side by the powerful magnetic fields. 
Since the field strength inside the magnet 
is uniform, the beam is bent into a circle 
and the antiprotons orbit endlessly inside 
the ring. Last year scientists at CERN 
placed a tew hundred antiprotons with an 
energy of 2,1 GeV in their storage ring, 
where they were kept circulating. After 
nearly four days only about 80 antiprotons 
were left. The others had been destroyed 
when they collided with the few remaining 
atoms that contaminated the nearly perfect 
vacuum inside the ring. 

In future experiments at Fermilab, the 
fast-moving antiprotons will be slowed 
down before they are stored. After the an- 
tiprotons are generated, the physicists will 
send them through a linear accelerator, 
which usually boosts the normal protons 
before they go into the big ring. Since the 
antiprotons have an opposite charge, they 
will be "antiboosted" — slowed from 6,000" 
MeV to 200 MeV. Thisthirtyfold decrease in 
energy means that the antiprotons, which 
used to move at relativistic velocities, will 
wind up at well below the speed of light — the 
first stage in practical containment schemes. 

The next step is even more remarkable: 
The antiprotons will be "cooled." As you 
might expect from the chaotic way they are 
formed, each antiproton starts out with a 
different speed. In the cooling ring, they will 
be mixed with electrons moving in the 
same direction, the electrons' velocity care- 
fully matched to the average speed of the 
antiprotons. The electrons, supplied by a 
precise electron accelerator, will move at 
the same speed while some of the antipro- 
tons move a little faster and some move a 
little more slowly. The antiprotons and the 
much lighter electrons will interact through 
their electric charges— both negative — 
and soon the electrons will soak up the 
energy difference contained in the off- 
speed antiprotons. 

After a few minutes among the electrons, 
the antiprotons will be moving at the speed 
of the injected electron beam, with very 
little randomness, or "heat," in their velocity. . 
These cold antiprotons will then be able to 
be decelerated to even lower speeds (the 
Fermilab experiments will omit this step). 
They might even be brought to a stop and 
trapped in an electric or a magnetic 
"bottle"— a chilled vacuum chamber with 
two electrically superconducting rings built 




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into the wall, one near either end. 

There are a number of ways to control 
antimatter withoul touching it. The. mag- 
netic storage rings already in use can hold 
moving beams ot charged antiprotons and 
antielectrons, but for larger amounts of an- 
timatter we will probably want to use other 
containment devices. 

If we capture both the antiprotons and 
the antielectrons formed in the tungsten 
target, slow them down, and put them to- 
gether, they will form antihydrogen. An 
atom of antihydrogen consists of a single 
antiproton with an antielectron circling 
around it. Antihydrogen, like hydrogen, has 
a property called diamagnetism; it has a 
tendency to avoid magnetic fields. If you 
put it in a magnetic bottle, the antihydrogen 
. will avoid the strong magnetic fields gener- 
ated by the rings and collect in the center, 
as a ball. In theory the antihydrogen ball 
could be held there forever 

Electric fields can also be used to store 
and manipulate antimatter. The fields keep 
just a slight static charge on the antihydro- 
gen, allowing it to move around. A weak 
beam of electrons can be used to keep a 
ball of antimatter charged. Alternately, the 
light pressure from an array of laser beams 
can keep a ball of antimatter suspended 
in a storage chamber or boil off small 
amounts ot hydrogen gas for use. 

Very little antimatter has been made so 
far. CERN and Fermilab hope to make and 
store about "a trillion antiprotons at onetime 
with their research accelerators. However, 
the total mass of those trillion antiprotons 
will be only one trillionth of a gram, and they 
will have the explosive energy of only a 
small firecracker. 

What limits the research groups is that 
their accelerators are designed for preci- 
sion, not production. In order to produce 
protons of extremely high and exact en- 
ergy, these research tools have beam cur- 
rents that are too low for the mass produc- 
tion of antimatter. 

Machines that will accelerate large 
numbers ot protons to moderately high 
energies are receiving great emphasis to- 
day. The United States, in an effort to over- 
come a Soviet lead, is starting to develop 
particle-beam weapons for ballistic-missile 
defense. These will be compact, high- 
energy machines deployed in space. They 
will send out short bursts of high-energy 
protons to burn up ballistic missiles as they 
rise above Earth's atmosphere. The design 
goals for these machines sound amazing, 
yet each element has been accomplished 
before. Physics and engineering are so 
well developed in this area that no one 
familiar with the field doubts that such 
weapons can be built. 

Beamed-particle weapons will shoot 
protons with energies of 10 GeV or more- 
energies much lower than those already 
achieved in many particle accelerators 
and well above the 1-GeV limit needed to 
make antimatter. The beam currents in 
these machines are amazing. Whereas 
CERN and Fermilab are content with beam 

48 OMNI 



currents of one thousandth of an ampere, 
these machines will have beam currents of 
10,000 amperes. 10 million times greater. 
Such currents are commonplace in high- 
voltage converters and high-energy lasers; 
so we know that engineers can control the 
current densities. What has never been 
achieved before is the combination of high 
energy and high current. 

When you know the power needed to run 
one of these beamed-particle weapons, 
you realize why they will be fired in short 
bursts. A 10-GeV machine operating at 
10,000 amperes requires 100 terawatts 
(TW), or 100,000 gtgawatts (GW). Hoover 
Dam produces only 1 GW The Saturn 5 
rocket puts out 35 GW at takeoff. The total 
electric-power capacity of the United 
States is about 250 GW and the world 
power output is only 1 TW We can actually 
build a machine (probably small enough to 
fit in the space shuttle's cargo bay) that will 
require the power of 100 worlds to run it. If 
those machines could be made to operate 



<mWe can actually build a 

machine, probably 
small enough to fit in the 

shuttle, that 
will require the power of 100 

worlds to run. 

It could be our key to the 

solar system.? 



continuously— and there is no theoretical 
reason they couldn't— they could be our 
key to the solar system. 

Research accelerators have other prob- 
lems that limit their antimatter production. 
The tungsten target, tor example, has been 
given lesser priority than "more important" 
experiments. And the design of antimatter 
collectors and sorters is in its infancy. The 
present efficiency of converting proton en- 
ergy to antimatter is somewhere between 
one part per billion and one part per million. 
If the conversion efficiency could be 
brought up to one part per thousand or 
better, generators based on particle-beam 
weapons could produce significant 
amounts of antimatter. 

Where will we get the energy to run these 
machines? We certainly wouldn't want to 
do it by burning fossil fuels here on Earth. 
But there is plenty ot solar energy in space. 
We receive from the sun 1 kilowatt of energy 
per square meter, 1 gigawatt per square 
kilometer. A collector array 1 ,000 kilometers 
on a side would provide a power input of 
1,000 TW enough to produce grams of an- 
timatter per day. In space, the power gen- 
erated per square kilometer of solar collec- 



tor would be at least twice as great. 

Since antimatter requires much more 
energy to make than we will ever get back. 
it will always be a very expensive iuel. 
However, for space propulsion, where 
every kilogram ot rocket fuel put into orbit 
costs many hundreds of kilograms of pro- 
pellant in the booster, antimatter's light 
weight and high energy may make it the 
best available fuel, 

Most early-science-fiction writers as- 
sumed that antimatter rockets would use 
equal parts of matter and antimatter. The 
two would be combined and the resulting 
gamma-ray exhaust would be used. How- 
ever, a recent study by engineers at NASA's 
Jet Propulsion Laboratory revealed that for 
any speed less than one-third that of light it 
would be much more efficient to use a small 
amount of antimatter to heat a much larger 
mass of matter— hydrogen, water, or what- 
ever else is convenient. 

Surprisingly, the best mix of matter and 
antimatter for a given payload and velocity 
is the same for any mission. Whether you 
are going to the moon or to the stars, the 
optimum ratio is four tons of water per ion of 
spaceship. The only thing that varies is the 
amount of antimatter needed to heat the 
water— and that is always such a small 
variation that its mass can be neglected in 
the flight calculations. 

For example, to go to the moon in tour 
hours, we would have to travel the 382,000 
kilometers at better than 30 kilometers per 
second. For an AstroCruiser weighing one 
ton. this would require 30 milligrams — 
barely a thousandth of an ounce— of an- 
timatter mixed with four tons of water. 

Ten grams of antimatter heating 40 tons 
of water could propel a 10-ton space vehi- 
cle to Mars in a week. A kilogram of antimat- 
ter would send the same ship to Pluto in a 
month. And 100 kilograms could send a 
10-ton payload to the nearest stars, four 
light-years away, in 50 years at one-tenth 
the speed of light. 

We know how to make antimatter and we 
know how to store it. With a fully developed 
antimatter technology, the solar system and 
nearby stars could be ours. There is no 
question about the workability of the 
technology. It is only a matter of scale and 
costs. The question is not whether we can 
do it. It is whether we are willing to make the 
investment. 

The long trip is over The autopilot beeps, 
and you tear your gaze from the retreating 
blue marble you took off from hours before. 
When you touch the controls, laser light 
deep inside a zero-cold bottle teases 
another microgram of antihydrogen from 
the frozen ball suspended in an invisible 
cat's cradle of magnetic fields. Pulsed 
electric and magnetic fields carry the 
speck to the roaring hell of the rocket 
chamber, where the still-frigid antimatter 
meets a deciliter of dirty water. They 
explode in a blaze of fire, and the lunar dust 
rises beneath your landing jets to hide the 
dozens of glittering casino signs towering 
in the distance. DO 



DREAM HOUSE 



Something in this weird house hated electricity.. It snarled angrily 
at all the utility companies, "Get out. GET OUT!" A true story 

BY RONALD DANS 



It's the dead of winter. While you push your 
thermostat up another degree and dream about 20-cent heating oil and 30-cent 
gasoline. Tom Smith enjoys the radiant heat of his "energy-producing house." Seven 
thousand feet high on a mountainside overlooking LakeTahoe, on the California side, the 
house appears no more unusual than its alpine neighbors. But when the thermometer 
reads 12°F the winter wind shakes the snow-laden fir trees, and the sun shines for the 
first time in two days, Smith still doesn't have to turn on the electric heat. When I spoke 
with him last January, he talked about taking out the electric baseboard heaters. "I 
haven't used them since I moved in a year ago. and I don't think I'll ever need them." 

When you first see the Smith house, there is no way to know that it is solar-heated. 
There are no exotic collectors on the roof, no complicated plumbing inside, no storage 
tanks down in the basement, and no walls of black-painted drums. There is none of the 
paraphernalia that has always been associated with solar homes, Without all these 
things, Smith's is the most innovative solar house in the world. 

The strange thing is that, although Smith has theories about the house, neither he nor 
top solar scientists can figure out why it works. Not only does Smith have the most 
innovative house in the world, but it is also the most controversial. 

The house employs the deceptively simple technology of radiant heat, long favored by 
quality builders for its high level of comfort. Heat from an open fire is radiant heat. Its 
soothing, penetrating quality is impossible to match with convenlional heating methods. 
But its cost has always been a major drawback. Most conventional radiant-heating 
systems use a large network of heating pipes in the ceiling and walls of the home. In 
Smith's house you are surrounded on four sides by radiantly heated surfaces. No matter 
where you are in the house, there are no cold spots or drafty corners. 

The house is built around what's known as the double-shell/convective-loop concept: 

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAN McCOY/RAINBOW 






i» The strange thing about the 

Smith house is that no solar scientist 

can figure out why it works . 9 





a house within a house. The south face 
consists mostly of double-glazed glass. 
Ten feet behind it is another wall that rises 
almost, but not quite, to the roof. What 
results is a ten-toot-wide greenhouse. Air 
in this space is heated by the sun and 
expands and circulates upward. There it 
hits the outer roof. But there is also a faise 
roof over the inner house, built about 12 
inches lower. This creates a foot-thick air- 
space, which the air moves through to 
reach the north side of the house. The air 
travels down a similar passage in the 
north wall, through the crawl space un- 
derneath, and back up through the slat- 
ted greenhouse floor. The triple combina- 
tion of greenhouse in front, a false roof. 
and talse north wall creates a massive 
blanket of slowly moving warm air that 
completely surrounds the living space. 
This air circulates by convection alone, 
using no fans or mechanical means. It 
warms the inner shell and buffers the 
inner house from the icy winter air Be- 
cause the air never circulates through the 
actual living space, there is no need to 
achieve the high temperatures essential 



in atl other conventional heating methods. 

While the sun is shining, excess heat is " 
stored in the 2.100 cubic feet of dirt and 
rock backfilled underneath the house. 
Heat is also stored in the insulated foun- 
dation walls and the inner shell of the 
house. At night or on cloudy days the 
greenhouse cools faster than the north 
wall, causing air to reverse its direction, 
picking up heat trom the earth storage. 
and keeping the inner house warm. 

When the sun is shining on a clear Jan- 
uary day. approximately 500.000 BTUs of 
heat will be collected by the greenhouse 
windows. This is the equivalent of five gal- 
lons of oil burned in a well-maintained 
furnace, enough to heat a well-insulated 
house of the same size for a whole day at 
15°R Much of that heat is stored in the 
inner structure of the house and in the dirt 
and rocks under the house. The entire 
foundation, being insulated from the out- 
side earth, is included in this thermal 
mass. The overall mass is big enough so 
that if all the heat gathered during the day 
were put into storage, the temperature of 
storage would rise only by 5" to 7°R This 



(Preceding page) The eerie figure of Torn Smith peers out of the house that no one can explain. 
(Left) the speciacuiat vie// trom the mouse's so:jir : -facing double-glazed windows, whose green- 
house effect warms a ten-foot-wide air pocket in front of the interior wall. /Above) a side view, 



large capacity tor heat storage is important 
because the rate of heat loss out of the 
storage is proportional to the difference in 
temperature between storage and the sur- 
rounding earth. The less heat lost from 
storage, the more heat there is available to 
maintain warmth in the house during the 
sunless periods. 

Free energy is certainly appealing, but 
there are many institutional, economic, and 
social obstacles to its widespread accep- 
tance. The most difficult thing for any soci- 
ety to accept is change, and most people 
view their homes as symbols of perma- 
nence and status. Making any change in 
housing has always been strongly resisted, 
as makers of modular homes have discov- 
ered in the last 20 years. The construction 
industry itself is tradition-bound by trade 
practices, the fragmentation of effort, un- 
sophisticated financial institutions, and 
consumer apathy. Local building codes, 
which often vary from municipality to 
municipality, severely handicap innovative 
architects and builders. The housing in- 
dustry is aware of such constraints and is 
also aware of the potential for passively 
heated and cooled homes. 

Such homes use no mechanical means 
to collect, store, or distribute heat from re- 
newable sources. They might better be 
called integrated houses, but the unfortu- 
nate label passive is more often applied. 
Some 60,000 housebuilders met last Janu- 
ary in Las Vegas for their national conven- 
tion, and there was considerable discus- 
sion of prototype designs for passive 
homes. This interest notwithstanding, an 
often-heard comment at the convention 
was. "When the consumer wants solar, we 
will find a way to make it happen." 

Tom Smith was aware of this attitude and 
of other problems when he first decided to 
build a house. Rather than build just 
another solar home, he wanted to build a 
house that would destroy every reason for 
not going solar. After making a nationwide 
survey of solar homes, he identified the 
double-shell/convective-loop idea as the 
most promising design. He purchased 
plans from the design's inventor, San Fran- 
cisco architect Lee Porter Butler, and as- 
sembled a team of people to help him 
make the design into what he felt would 
meet nine objectives: 

• 80-percent self-sufficiency for heat- 
ing— 100-percent with one efficient 
wood-burning stove. 

• 80-percent self-sufficiency for cooling. 

• Low cost. The house should cost no more 
than the average house, given the same 
size, materials, and location. 

• 100-percent use of standard building 
techniques, processes, and materials. 

• Complete conformity to the local building 
code. 

• Conventional financing from normal lend- 
ing institutions. 

• Conventional design to blend with the 
natural and architectural landscape. 

• No mechanical aids whatsoever. 

• A healthier and more aesthetically pleas- 



ing environment for his family. 

The Smith house has met or surpassed 
all of these objectives. 

Wood consumption, for example, is three 
quarters of a cord a year. This is the equiva- 
lent of 150 gallons of fuel oil burned in an 
average furnace, or a total annual fuel bill of 
under $100. No air conditioning has been 
needed, satisfying the second objective. 
Cooling is provided by the introduction of 
ground-cooled air into the crawl space. 
This air comes from a pipe buried five feet 
below grade on the north side of the house. 
If the clerestory windows at the top of the 
greenhouse are opened, the escaping hot 
air creates a suction lhat draws cool air into 
the house from the crawl space. 

Even in the inflation-prone California 
housing market there was little trouble 
meeting the objective of cost. The Smith 
house was built for $53,258 (that's $29.50 
per square foot) by a local Tahoe contrac- 
tor. This figure compares favorably with 
nationwide estimates of $32 to $36 per 



<m No mechanical means 
are used to collect, store, or 

distribute the heat. 

Such homes might better be 

called integrated 

' houses, but the unfortunate 

label passive 

is more frequently used3 



square foot for homes built in 1978. 

Smith's neighbor Dave Leone, had a 
similar house built nearby late in 1978 at a 
slightly higher cost ($33 per square foot). 
Leone's home had much more interior car- 
pentry work, including a handcrafted spiral 
staircase and a Jacuzzi in the greenhouse. 
Rusty Dunn, the contractor tor Leone's 
house, said, "I was surprised that the 
house was no more difficult to build than 
the standard houses I've always built. It 
was the most interesting house I've worked 
on. It was something more than the ordinary 
'Build it, stand the walls up, and walk away 
from it.' " 

Standard techniques played a crucial 
role in determining final details of the de- 
sign process. Selecting materials and pro- 
cesses known to the building trades facili- 
tated construction and ensured some 
measure of longevity. As reported by Wil- 
liam Shurcliff, author of Solar Heated Build- 
ings o! North America, many solar-energy 
systems, particularly those incorporating 
water have proved unreliable over a 10- to 
20-year life span. Though this would not 
preclude their use in certain designs, 
common sense tells us to employ materials 



and processes that will match the build- 
ing's structural longevity 

The only problems presented by the 
local building code were the air plenum 
formed by the false north wall and the 
above average amount of glass. In some 
codes, potential fire routes between floors 
must have some automatic means of shut- 
ting off the flow of fire. In Smith's house the 
plenum was classified as part of the heat- 
ing system, exempting it from this restric- 
tion. In other houses that use the double- 
shell design, it may be necessary to install 
in the airspace inexpensive sheet-metal 
dampers that can be thermostatically 
closed, using a fusible link. 

The huge amount of glass to be used in 
the house was considered a problem only 
until heat-load calculations were submitted 
to the building inspectors. These calcula- 
tions showed that the extra glass actually 
helped the thermal performance, leaving 
nothing much to argue about. Getting ac- 
ceptance from local building inspectors for 
this kind of house may not seem to be a 
hurdle until you attempt to build any struc- 
ture that is just the slightest bit out of the 
ordinary. Such details as minimum heating 
temperatures are written into codes with 
little thought given to what is actually 
needed for personal comfort. Both the 
Smith and the Leone homes would be 
termed underheated by many building 
codes. In the Smith house temperatures on 
a cold January day range from 62°to 68 "F. 
Out of doors the temperature range is 20° 
to 30°F. Temperatures in the greenhouse 
on this day ranged from 50° to 70°F, chilly, 
for bathing suits but just fine for plants. 

Financing for Smith's and Leone's 
homes was obtained from the usually staid 
Bank of America. The bank required Smith 
to install electric baseboard heaters as an 
emergency backup. Seeing how well the 
house performed, the bank waived this re- 
quirement for Leone's house. Such a 
forward-looking attitude on the part of 
banking institutions signals a growing 
awareness of the potential for passive- 
solar housing. 

The largest bank in Rhode Island, the 
Old Stone Bank, recently funded the con- 
struction of a house using the same dou- 
ble-shell/convective-loop system. Gerry 
Ducharme, director of public relations for 
the bank, indicated that the bank has spent 
a lot of time investigating the potential for 
residential solar construction, "We are look- 
ing for great development in the field of 
residential solar for the 1980s and expect to 
assist in the financing of large-scale solar 
developments in the coming decade." Dis- 
cussing the house that his bank had fi- 
nanced, Ducharme said, "This environ- 
ment [Newport] is a difficult one in which to 
be different. So it is important that any solar 
development [should] look like our tradi- 
tional New England home." This is typical of 
the banker's long-term view and cannot be 
overlooked despite the enthusiastic pro- 
motion of new building styles. 

In many housing developments, blend- 

CONTINUED ON PAGE 100 



a party given by socialite Hilda "Sharp" 
Corners, Deety offers herself as bait to 
Zeb if he will agree to discuss mathemat- 
ics with her father. In the meantime, Jake is 
getting himself into a roaring argument 
with Professor N. 0. Brain, a university 
mathematician of great pomposity and lit- 
tle creative intellect. 

Zeb falls instantly and hopelessly in love 
with Deety asks to marry her, and swears 
that the Dr. Z. Carter her father is looking for 
is not he, but his cousin, Dr. Zebulon Ed- 
ward Carter. Deety, equally in love, accepts 
his proposal, whoever he is. 
_ Joined by Sharpie Corners, Professor 
Burroughs, his daughter, and Zeb leave the 
party to find a justice of the peace. But the 
professor's car explodes as they approach 
it. Someone has tried to murder Professor 
Burroughs. 

Zeb bundles all four of them into his 
car — a souped-up combination auto- 
mobile, airplane, and rocket that he calls 
Gay Deceiver. They start out for the Bur- 
roughs home in Utah, only to find that it too 
has been destroyed by blast and fire. 

Zeb lands Gay Deceiver in Nevada, 
where he and Deety are quickfy married 
—and so are Jake Burroughs and Hilda — 
In a double ceremony marked more by its 
brevity than by anything else. 

The four of them fly to the Burroughs 
hideaway north of the Grand Canyon, a 
largely underground retreat they call Snug 
Harbor. There they try to figure out their 
situation. It is obvious that someone does 
not want the human race to have a space- 
time continuum machine. Even Zeb's 
cousin has been murdered, they learn. 

They conclude that their enemies must 
be aliens, creatures from another space 
and time who want to keep the power of 
continuum travel for themselves. Jake tells 
the others that his calculations show there 
is an enormous multiplicity of universes in 
existence — the total number is six, raised 
to the sixth power, and then raised to the 
sixth power again: the biblical Number of 
the Beast. 

Realizing that their one hope of safety 
lies in flight among the universes, the two 
couples retire for the night. The following 
morning both women are convinced they 
are pregnant. Here begins Part 2 of "The 
Number of the Beast. " 

Deety 

While Aunt Hilda and I assembled lunch, 
ourmen disappeared. They returned just in 
time to sit down. Zebadiah carried an inter- 
com unit; Pop had a wire that he plugged 
into a jack in the wall and then hooked to 
the intercom. 

"Gentlemen, your timing is perfect; the 
work is all done," Aunt Hilda greeted them. 
"What is that?" 

'A guest for lunch, my dearest," Pop an- 
swered. "Miss Gay Deceiver." 

"Plenty for all," Aunt Hilda agreed. "I'll set 
another place." She did so; Zebadiah 
placed the intercom on the fifth plale. 
"Does she take coffee or tea?" 



"She's not programmed lor either, Hilda," 
Zebadiah answered, "but I thank you on her 
behalf. Ladies, I got itchy about news from 
Singapore and Sumatra. So I asked my 
autopilot to report. Jake came along, then 
pointed out that he had spare cold circuits 
here and there, just in case — and this was 
a just-in-case. Gay is plugged into the ga- 
rage end of lhat jack, and this is a voice- 
switched, master-master intercom at this 
end. I can call Gay and she can call me if 
anything new comes in. And I increased 
her programming by reinstating the earlier 
programs, Logan and back home, for run- 
ning retrieval of new data." 

"Pop," I inquired, "is this covered by Rule 
One? Or was Rule One abolished last night 
in Elko?" 

"Eh? The chair must decide that Rule 
One is suspended until Hilda ratifies or 
cancels it. Hilda my love, years back Jane 
instituted Rule One — " 

"I ratify it!" 

"Thank you. But listen first. It applies to 



•We have the most 

valuable man on this 

planet to protect. 

. . Jake, your bodyguard 

musters two Amazons 

. . and one Cowardly Lion. 

But we are all 

there is, and we'll tfy.3 



meals. No news broadcasts — " 

"Pop," I interrupted again, "while Rule 
One is still in limbo, did Gay Deceiver have 
any news? I worry, I do!" 

"Null retrievals, dear Even with the amus- 
ing conclusion that you and I are presumed 
to have died twice, the news services do 
not appear to have noticed the discrep- 
ancy. However Miss Gay Deceiver will 
inlerrupt if a bulletin comes in; Rule One is 
never invoked during emergencies. Zeb, 
do you want this rig in your bedroom at 
night?" 

"I don't want it, but I should have it. 
Prompt notice might save our skins." 

"We'll leave this here and parallel another 
into there, wilh gain stepped to wake you. 
Back to Rule One. No news broadcasts at 
meals, no newspapers. No shoptalk, no 
business or financial matters, no discus- 
sion of ailments. No political discussions, 
no mention of taxes or of foreign or domes- 
tic policy. Reading of fiction permitted en 
famille, not with guests present. Conversa- 
tion limited to cheerful subjects — " 

"No scandal, no gossip?" demanded 
Aunt Hilda, 

"A matter of your judgment, dear. Cheer- 



ful gossip about friends and acquain- 
tances, juicy scandal about people we do 
not like — fine! Now, do you wish to ratify, 
abolish, amend, or take under advise- 
ment?" 

"1 ratify It unchanged. Who knows some 
juicy scandal about someone we don't 
like?" 

"I know an item about N. 0. Brain — 
Doctor Neil Brain," Zebadiah offered. 

"Give!" 

"I got this from a reliable source, but I 
can't prove it." 

"Irrelevant, as long as it's juicy. Go 
ahead, Zebbie." 

"Well, a certain zaftig coed told this on 
herself. She tried to give her all to Brainy in 
exchange for a passing grade in the gen- 
eral math course necessary for any degree 
on our campus. If is rigged to permit promi- 
nent but stupid athletes to graduate, Miss 
Zaftig was flunking it, which takes excep- 
tional talent. 

"So she arranged an appointment with 
the department head, Brainy, and made 
her quid pro quo clear He could give her 
horizontal tutoring then and there or in her 
apartment or in his apartment or in a motel, 
and she would pay for it whenever and 
wherever he chose. But she had to pass." 

"Happens on every campus, son," Pop 
told him. 

"I haven't reached the point. She 
blabbed the story. She wasn't angry but 
puzzled. She says that she was unable to 
get her intention across to him — which 
seems impossible. I've seen this young, 
woman. Brainy didn't accept, didn't refuse, 
wasn't offended, didn't seem to under- 
stand. He told her that she had better talk to 
her instructor about getting tutoring and a 
re-exam. Now Miss Zaftig is circulating the 
story that Professor N. 0. Brain must be a 
eunuch or a robot, Not even a homo. Totally 
sexless." 

"He's undoubtedly stupid," Aunt Hilda 
commented. "But I've never met a man I 
couldn't get that point across to, if I tried. 
Even if he was uninterested in my fair vir- 
ginal carcass. I've never tried with Profes- 
sor Brain because I'm not interested in his 
carcass. Even barbecued," 

"Then, Hilda my darling, why did you 
invite him to your party?" 

"What? Because of your note, Jacob. I 
don't refuse you favors," 

"But, Hilda, I don't understand. When I 
talked to you by telephone, I asked you to 
invite Zeb because I was under the im- 
pression that he was his cousin Zebulon. 
And I did say that two or three others from 
the department of mathematics might 
make it a less conspicuously arranged 
meeting. Buf I didn't mention Doctor Brain. 
And I did not write." 

"Jacob, I have your note. In California. On 
your university stationery, with your name 
printed on ft." 

Pop shook his head and looked sad, 
Zebadiah. said, "Sharpie — handwritten or 
typed?" 

"Typed. But it was signed! Wait a mo- 



merit, let me think. It has my name and 
address down In the lower left. Jacob's 
name was typed, too, but it was signed 
Jake. Uh . . . 'My dear Hilda, a hasty RS. to 
my phone call of yesterday. Would you be 
so kind as to include Doctor Neil O. Brain, 
chairman of mathematics? I don't know 
what possessed me that I forgot to mention 
him. Probably the pleasure ot hearing your 
dear voice. 

" 'Deety sends her love, as do I. Ever 
yours, Jacob J. Burroughs,' with Jake 
signed above the typed name." 

Zebadiah said to me, "Watson, you know 
my methods." 

"Certainly, my dear Holmes. A Black Hat. 
In Logan." 

"We knew that. What new data?" 

"Well, Pop made that call from the house; 
I remember it. So somebody has a tap on 
our phone. Had, I mean: the fire probably 
destroyed it." 

"A recording tap. The purpose of that fire 
may have been to destroy it and other evi- 
dence. For now we know that the Blokes in 
Black Hats knew that your fat her — and you, 
but it's Pop they are after — was in California 
last evening. After 'killing' him in California, 
they destroyed all they could in Utah. Pro- 
fessor. I predict that we will learn that your 
office was burgled last night— of any pa- 
pers on six-dimensional spaces." 

Pop shrugged. "They wouldn't find 
much. I had postponed submitting my final 
paper afterthe . . . humiliating . . . reception 



of my preliminary paper. I worked on it only 
at home, or here, and moved notes made in 
Logan to our basement here each time we 
came down." 

"Any notes missing here?" 

"I am certain this place has not been 
entered. Not that the papers would matter; I 
have the material in my head. The continua 
apparatus has not been touched." 

"Zebadiah. is Doctor Brain a Black Hat?" 
I asked. 

"I don't know, Deety. He may be a stooge 
in their hire. But he's part of their plot, or 
they would not have risked forging a letter 
to get him into Hilda's house." 

Aunt Hilda said. "It didn't occur to me to 
question the signature on Jacob's statio- 
nery under a note that sounded like his 
phrasing. Where do we stand now?" 

"Stuck in the mud. But we have added 
data. At least three are involved, two Black 
Hats and Doctor Brain, who may or may not 
be a Black Hat. He is, at minimum, a hired 
hand, an unwitting stooge, or a puppet they 
can move around like a chessman. 

"While two plus Brainy is the minimum, it 
is not the most probable number. This 
scheme was not whipped up overnight. It 
involves arson, forgery, booby-trapping a 
car wiretapping, theft, and secret com- 
munications between points widely sepa- 
rated, with coordinated criminal actions at 
each end. And it may involve doing in my 
cousin Zebulon. We can assume that the 
Black Hats know that / am not the Zeb Car- 



ter who is thcr)-ci m .er-s!cnai geometer; I've 
been written off as a bystander who got 
himself killed. 

"Which doesn't bother them. These play- 
ful darlings would swat a fly with a sledge- 
hammer or cure a cough with a guillotine. 
They are smart, organized, efficient, and 
vicious; and the only clue is an interest in 
six-dimensional, non-Euclidean geometry. 

"We don't have a glimmer as to who — 
other than Doctor Brain, whose role is un- 
clear. But. Jake, I think I know why and that 
will lead us to who." 

"Why. Zebadiah''" I demanded. 

"Princess, your father could have worked 
on endless other branches of mathemat- 
ics, and he would not have been bothered. 
But he happened — I don't mean chance; I 
don't believe in chance in this sense — to 
work on the one variety of the endless pos- 
sible number of geometries — the only one 
that correctly describes how space-time 
is put together. Having found it, because he 
is a genius in both theory and practice, 
he saw that it was a means by which to 
build a simple craft — amazingly simple, 
the greatest invention since the wheel — a 
space-time craft that offers access to all 
universes to the full Number of the Beast. 
Plus undenumerable variations of each of 
those many universes. 

"We have one advantage." 

"I don't see any advantage! They're 
shooting at my Jacob!" 

"One strong advantage, Sharpie. The 



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15 Linrt Inp Ifintiili Actual hitjhw.n 



Black Hats know that Jake has worked out 
this mathematics. They don't know that he 
has built his space-time tail Iwister; they 
think he has just put symbols on paper 
They tried to discredit his work and were 
successful. They tried to kill him and barely 
missed. They probably think Jake is dead, 
and it seems likely that they have killed Ed. 
But they don't know about Snug Harbor." 

"Why do you say that. Zeb? Oh, I hope 
they do not! But why do you feel sure?" 

"Because these blokes aren't fooling. 
They blew up your car and burned your flat; 
whal would they do here if they knew? An 
A-bomb?" 

"Son, do you think that criminals can lay 
hands on atomic weapons?" 

"Jake, these aren't criminals. A criminal 
is a member of the subset of the larger set 
human beings. These creatures are not 
human." 

"Eh? Zeb, your reasoning escapes me." 

"Deety. Run it through the computer. The 
one between your ears." 

I did not answer; I just sat and thought. 
After several minutes of unpleasant 
thoughts. I said, "Zebadiah, the Black Hats 
don't know about the apparatus in our 
basement." 

"Conclusive assumption," my husband 
agreed, "because we are still alive." 

"They are determined to destroy a new 
work in mathematics and to kill the brain 
that produced it." 

"That is a probability that truly ap- 



proaches unity," Zebadiah agreed again. 

"Because it can be used to travel among 
the universes." 

"Conclusive corollary," my husband 
noted. 

"For this purpose, human beings fall into 
three groups. Those not interested in math- 
ematics more complex than that needed 
for them to handle money, those who know 
a bit about other mathematics, and a quite 
small third group who could understand 
the possibilities." 

"Yes." 

"But our race does not know anything of 
other universes so far as I know." 

"They don't. Necessary assumption." 

"But that third group would not try to stop 
an attempt to travel among the universes. 
They would wait with intellectual interest to 
see how it turned out. They might believe or 
disbelieve or suspend judgment. But they 
would not oppose; they would be delighted 
if my father succeeded. The joy of intellec- 
tual discovery— the mark of a true scien- 
tist." 

I sighed and added, "I see no other 
grouping. Save for a few sick people, 
psychotic, these three subsets complete 
the set, Our opponents are not psychotic; 
Ihey are intelligent, crafty, and organized." 

'As we all know too well," Zebadiah 
echoed. 

"Therefore our opponents are not human 
beings. They are alien intelligences' from 
elsewhere." I sighed again and shut up. 



Being an oracle is a no-good profession! 
"Or elsewhen, Sharpie, can you kill?" 
"Kill whom, Zebbie? Or what?" 
"Can you kill to protect Jake?" 
"You bet I'd kill to protect Jacob!" 
"I won't ask you, Princess; I know Dejah 
Thoris," Zebadiah went on. "That's the situ- 
ation, ladies. We have the most valuable 
man on this planet to protect. We don't 
know from what. Jake, your bodyguard 
musters two Amazons, 'one small, one 
medium-large, both probably knocked up. 
and one Cowardly Lion. I'd hire the Dorsai if 
I knew their P.O. box. Or the Gray Lensman 
and all his pals. But we are all there is, and 
we'll try. Avete, atieni. Nos morituri ros 
spemimus! Let's break out that cham- 
pagne." 

Hilda 

In my old age, sucking my gums in front 
of the fire and living over my misdeeds, I'll 
remember the next few days as the hap- 
piest in my life. I'd had three honeymoons 
earlier, one with each of my term-contract 
husbands; two had been good, one had 
been okay and — eventually— very lucra- 
tive. But my honeymoon with Jacob was 
heavenly. 

The whiff of danger sharpened the joy 
Jacob seemed unworried. and Zebbie has 
hunches, like a horseplayer. Seeing that 
Zebbie was relaxed, Deety got over being 
jumpy; and I never was, as I hope to end 
like a firecracker, not linger on, ugly help- 



Get that Lincoln-Mercury difference, and good gas mileage ratings, too. 



Mercury Capri RS Mercury Capri 

Sleek. Sexy. Aerodynamic. Capri for 1980 features full instrumentation. 

That's Capri RS for 1980. It's hard to believe Halogen headlamps. And a hatchback 
that a car this exciting also has such good with fold-down rear seat. It's a little touch of 
Europe ina lot of American car. 




MERCURY 



less, useless . . . 

A spice of danger adds zest to life. Even 
during a honeymoon— especially during a 
honeymoon. 

An odd honeymoon. We worked hard, 
but our husbands seemed never too busy 
ior pat-fanny squeeze-titty, and unhurried 
kisses. Not a group marriage but two two- 
somes that were one family, comfortable 
one with the other. I dropped most of my 
own sparky-bitch ways, and Zebbie some- 
times called me Hilda rather than Sharpie. 
We settled into a routine: Up early every 
day; our men worked on instruments and 
wires and things and installing the time- 
space widget into Gay Deceiver's gizzard 
while Deety and I gave the housework a 
lick and a promise. Our mountain home 
needed little attention — more ot Jacob's 
genius. Then Deety and I got busy on a 
technical matter for which Deety could do 
with some help from me. 

I'm not much good for technical work, 
biology being the only thing I studied in 
depth. And I never finished my degree. 
This was amplified by almost six thousand 
hours as a volunteer nurse's aid in our 
campus medical center, and I took courses 
that make me an uncertified nurse or medi- 
cal tech or even jackleg paramedic. I don't 
shriek at the sight ol blood and can clean 
up vomit without a qualm and would not 
hesitate to fill in as a scrub nurse. Being a 
campus widow with too much money is fun 
but not soul-filling. I like to feel that I've paid 
rent on the piece of earth I'm using. 

Besides that, I have a smattering ot ev- 
erything because of my addiction to the 
printed page, plus attending campus lec- 
tures that sound intriguing, then sometimes 
auditing a related course. I audited de- 
scriptive astronomy, took the final as if for 
credit, and got an A, I had even figured a 
cometary orbit correctly, to my surprise 
(and the professor's). 

I can wire a doorbell or clean out a 
stopped-up soil pipe with a plumber's 
snake, but if it's really technical, I hire spe- 
cialists. 

So Hilda can help but usually can't do the 
job alone. Gay Deceiver had to be repro- 
grammed, and Deety, who does not look 
like a genius, is one. Jacob's daughter 
should be a genius, and her mother had an 
l,Q. that startled even me, her closest 
friend. I ran across it while helping poor, 
grief-stricken Jacob decide what to save, 
what to burn. I burned unflattering pictures, 
useless papers, and clothes. A dead per- 
son's clothes should be given away or 
burned; nothing should be kept that does 
not inspire happy memories. I cried a bit, 
and that saved Jacob and Deety from hav- 
ing to cry later. 

The next two days were easy for me, hard 
for Deety. I held lights and made notes on a 
clipboard while she studied Gay's anatomy 
and frowned and got smudged and sweaty 
getting hersejf.into impossible positions. 
And once she cursed in a fashion that 
would have .caused Jane to scold. She 
added, "Aunt Nanny Goat, your stepson- 

62 OMNI 



in-law has done things to this mass of 
spaghetti that no decent computer should 
put up with! It's a bastard hybrid." 

"You shouldn'l call Gay it, Deety. And 
she's not a bastard." 

"She can't hear us; I've got her ears un- 
hooked, except that piece that is monitor- 
ing news-retrieval programs and that goes 
through this wire to that jack in the wall; she 
can talk with Zebadiah only in the base- 
ment now. Oh, I'm sure she was a nice girl 
until that big ape of mine raped her. Aunt 
Hilda, don't worry about hurting Gay's feel- 
ings; she hasn't any. This is an idiot as 
computers go. Any one-horse college and 
most high schools own or share time in 
computers much more complex. This one 
is primarily cybernetic, an autopilot plus 
limited digital capacity and limited storage. 
But the mods Zebadiah has tacked on 
make it more than an autopilot but not a 
general-purpose computer. A misbegotten 
hybrid. It has far more random-number op- 
tions than it needs, and it has extra func- 



ilfre uniformed 
character sighed. "I got 

no time to listen 
to smart talk." He rested 

his hand on the 
butt of his gun. . . . "I'm 

going to search 
this site and the cabin 3 



tions that IBM never dreamed of." 

"Deety, why are you taking off the cover 
plates? I thought you were strictly a pro- 
grammer. Software. Not a mechanic." 

"I am strictly a software mathematician. I 
wouldn't attempt to modify this monster 
even on written orders from my lovable but 
sneaky husband. But how in the name of 
Allah can a software hack think about 
simplification analysis for a program if she 
doesn't know the circuitry? The first half of 
this book shows what this autopilot was 
manufactured to do, and the second half, 
the Xeroxed pages, shows the follies 
Zebadiah has seduced her into. This 
bleedin' bundle of chips now speaks three 
logic languages, interfaced, when it was 
built to use only one. But it won't accept any 
of them until it has been wheedled with 
Zebadiah's double-talk. Even then It rarely 
answers a code phrase with the same an- 
swer twice in a row. What does it say in 
answer to 'You're a smart girl, Gay'?" 

"I remember. 'Boss, 1 bet you fell that to all 
the girls. Over.' " 

"Sometimes. Most often, as that answer 
is weighted to come up three times as often 
as any of the others. But listen to this. 



'"Zeb, I'm so smart I scare myself. "Then 
why did you turn me down for that raise?' 
'Never mind the compliments! Take your 
hand off my knee! "Not so loud, dear. I don't 
want my boyfriend to hear,' 

'And there are more. There are at least 
four answers to any of Zebadiah's code 
phrases. He uses just one list, but the au- 
topilot answers seveFal ways for each of his 
phrases; and all any of them mean is either 
'Roger' or 'Null program; rephrase.' " 

"I like the idea. Fun," 

"Well, I do myself. I animize a computer; I 
think of it as a person. And this semi random 
answer list makes Gay Deceiver seem 
much more alive when she isn't. Not even 
versatile, compared with a ground-based 
computer. But"— Deety gave a quick 
sm ije— "I'm going to hand my husband 
some surprises." 

"How, Deety?" 

"You know how he says, 'Good morning, 
Gay. How are you?' when we sit down for 
breakfast." 

"Yes, I like it. Friendly. She usually an- 
swers, Tm fine, Zeb.' " 

"Yes. It's a test code. It orders the au- 
topilot to run a self-check throughout and to 
report any running instruction, which takes 
less than a millisecond. If Zebadiah didn't 
get that or an equivalent answer, he would 
rush straight here to find out what was 
wrong. But I'm going to add another an- 
swer. Or more." 

"I thought you refused to modify any- 
thing." 

'Aunt Hillbilly, this is software, not hard- 
ware. I'm authorized and directed to > 
amplify the answers to include all of us, by 
name, for each of our voices. That is pro- 
gramming, elementary. You say good morn- 
ing to this gadget, and it will— when I'm 
finished— answer you and call you either 
Hilda or Mrs. Burroughs." 

"Oh, let her call me Hilda." 

'All right, but let her call you Mrs. Bur- 
roughs now and then, for variety." 

"Well, all right. Keep her a personality." 

"I could even have her call you— low 
weighting! — Nanny Goat." 

I guffawed, "Do, Deety, please do. But I 
want to be around to see Jacob's face." 

"You will be; it won't be programmed to 
answer that way to any voice but yours, Just 
don't say, 'Good morning, Gay' unless Pop 
is listening. But here's one for my husband; 
Zebadiah says, 'Good morning, Gay. How 
are you?' and the speaker answers, 'I'm 
fine, Zeb. But your fly is unzipped, and your 
eyes are bloodshot. Are you hung over 
again?' " 

Deety is so solemn and yet so playful. 
"Do it, dear! Poor Zebbie, who drinks the 
least of any of us. But he might not be 
wearing anything zippered." 

"Zebadiah always wears something at 
meals. Even his underwear shorts are zip- 
pered. He dislikes elastic." 

"But he'll recognize your voice, Deety." 

"Nope. Because it will be your voice, 
modified." 

And it was. I'm contralto, about the range 



of [he actress— or girl friend— who origi- 
nally recorded Gay Deceiver's voice. I don't 
think my voice has her sultry, bedroom 
quality, but I'm a natural mimic. Deety bor- 
rowed a wigglescops — oscilloscope? - 
from her father my Jacob, and I practiced 
until my patterns for Gay Deceiver's origi- 
nal repertoire matched hers well enough. 
Deety said she could not tell them apart 
without close checking. 

I got info the spirit of it. such as having 
Deefy cause Gay Deceiver to say occa- 
sionally to my husband, "Fine, except for 
my backache, you wicked old billy goat!" 
And Jacob tripped that reply one morning 
■ when I did have a backache, and I teel sure 
he had one. too. 

We didn't put in answers ihat Deety felt 
might be too bawdy for Jacob's "innocent" 
mind — 1 didn't even hint at how her father 
actually talked to me in private. Let us all 
preserve our illusions; it lubricates social 
relations. Possibly Deety and Zebbie 
talked the same way to each other in pri- 
vate and regarded us "old folks" as 
hopelessly square. 

Deety 

Aunt Hilda and I finished reprogramming 
in the time it took Zebadiah and Pop to 
design and make ihe fail-safes and other 
mods needed to turn Gay Deceiver, with 
the time-space widget installed, into a con- 
tinua traveler— which included placing the 
backseats twenty centimeters farther back 
(for leg room) after they had been pulled 
out to place the widget abaft the bulkhead 
and weld it to the shell. The processing 
controls and triple verniers were remoted 
to the driver's instrument board, with one 
voice control for the widget, all others man- 
ual. 

If any of our voices said, "Gay Deceiver, 
take us home!" car and passengers would 
instantly return to Snug Harbor. 

I don't know why but I trust my pop. He 
brought us home safe twice, doing it with 
no fail-safes and no deadman switch. The 
latter paralleled the "Take us home!" voice 
order, was normally clamped closed and 
covered, but could be uncovered and held 
in a fist, closed. There were other iail-saies 
for temperature, pressure, air, radar colli- 
sion course, and other dangers. If we 
wound up inside a star or a planet, none of 
this could save us, but it is easy to prove 
that the chances of falling downstairs and 
breaking your neck are enormously higher 
than the chance of co-occupying space 
with other matter in our native universe- 
space is plentiful, mass is scarce. We 
hoped that this would be true of other uni- 
verses as well. 

No way ahead of time to check on the 
Number-of-the-Beast spaces, but "The 
cowards never started, and the weaklings 
died on the way." None of us ever men- 
tioned not trying to travel the universes. 
Besides, our home planet had turned un- 
friendly. We didn't discuss Black Hats, but 
we all knew that they were still here and that 
we remained alive by lying doggo and lei- 




Wild Turkey Lore: 

The keenness of sight of the 
Wild Turkey is legendary 
among woodsmen. Because 
of the position of its eyes,the 
bird can detect the slightest 
motion in a circumference 
of 300 degrees. 

It seems fitting that 
the name of America's 
greatest native bird is also 
the name of America's 
greatest native whiskey- 
Wild Turkey Bourbon. 

WILD TUKKEY'/lOl PROOF 




ting the world think we were dead. 

We ate breakfast better each morning 
after hearing Gay Deceiver offer "null re- 
port" on news retrievals. Zebadiah. I am 
fairly certain, had given up his cousin for 
dead. I feel sure Zebadiah would have 
gone to Sumatra to follow a lost hope, were 
it not that fie had acquired a wife and a 
prospective child. I had missed my next 
period; so had Hilda. Our men toasted our 
not-yet-bulging bellies; Hilda and I smugly 
resolved to be good girls, yes. sir!— and 
careful. Hilda joined my morning toning up, 
and the men joined us the first time they 
caught us ai it. 

Zebadiah did not need it but seemed !o 
enjoy it. Pop brought his waistline down live 
centimeters in one week. 
■ "Shortly after that toast, Zebadiah 
pressure-tested Gay Deceiver's shell — 
four atmospheres inside her and a pres- 
sure gauge sticking out through a fitting in 
her shell. 

Zebadiah. sprawled out, looked up over 
the fireplace. "Pop, you were in the navy?" 

"No, army— if you count 'chairborne in- 
fantry.' They handed me a commission for 
having a doctorate in mathematics, told me 
they needed me for ballistics. Then I spent 
my whole tour as a personnel officer, sign- 
ing papers." 

"Standard operating procedure. That's a 
navy sword and belt up there. Thought they 
might be yours." 



"They're Deety's — belonged to Jane's 
Grandfather Rodgers. I have a dress 

saber. Belonged to my dad, who gave it to 
me when the army took me. Dress blues, 
too. I took them with me, never had occa- 
sion to wear either." Pop got up and went 
into his— their — bedroom, calling back, 
"I'll show you the saber." 

My husband said to me, "Deety, would 
you mind my handling your sword?" 

"My Captain, that sword is yours." 

"Heavens, dear, I can't accept an heir- 
loom." 

"If my Warlord will not permit his princess 
to gilt him with a sword, he can leave it 
where it is! I've been wanting to give you a 
wedding present and did not realize that I 
had the perfect gift for Captain John Car- 
ter." 

"My apologies, Dejah Thoris. I accept 
and will keep it bright. I will defend my 
Princess with it againsf all enemies." 

"Helium is proud to accept. If you make a 
cradle of your hands, I can stand in them 
and bring it down." 

Zebadiah grasped me. a hand above 
each knee, and I was suddenly three me- 
ters tall. Sword and belt were on hooks; I 
lifted them down and was myself placed 
down. My husband stood straight while I 
buckled it around him. Then he dropped to 
one knee and kissed my hand. 

My husband is mad north-northwest, but 
his madness suits me. I got fears in my 
eyes, which Deety doesn't do much but 



IRVINfe. O 
FULLER [/) 

VOCXOfZ 0F 

MBVlOOZlTy 

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Dejah Thoris seems prone to, since John 
Carter made her his. 

Pop and Aunt Hilda watched, then im- 
itated, including (I sawl) lears in Hilda's 
eyes after she buckled on Pop's saber, 
when he knelt and kissed her hand. 

Zebadiah drew sword, tried its balance, 
sighted along its blade. "Handmade and 
balanced close to the hilt. Deety, your 
great-grandfather paid a pretty penny for 
this. It's an honest weapon." 

"I don't think he knew what it cost. It was 
presented to him." 

"For good reason. I feel certain." 
Zebadiah stood back, went into hanging 
guard, made fast moulinets vertically, left 
and right, then horizontally, clockwise and 
counterclockwise. He then suddenly 
dropped inlo swordsman's guard, lunged, 
and recovered, fast as a striking cat. 

I said softly to Pop, "Did you notice?" 

Pop answered quietly, "Knows saber. 
Sword, too." 

Hilda said loudly, "Zebbie! You never 
told me you went to Heidelberg." 

"You never asked, Sharpie. Around the 
Red Ox they called me the Scourge of the 
Neckar." 

"What happened to your scars 7 " 

"Never got any, dear, I hung around an 
extra year, hoping for one. But no one got 
through my guard, ever. Hate to think about 
how many German faces I carved into 
checkerboards." 

Zeb 

Before heading for the pool, our wives 
argued over how Barsoomian warriors 
dress — a debate complicated by the fact 
that I was the only one fairly sober. 

Jake and I agreed to wear sidearms. Our 
princesses had buckled them on; we 
would wear them. But Deety wanted me to 
take off the grease-stained shorts I had 
worn while working. "Captain John Carter 
never wears clothes. He arrived on Bar- 
soom naked and from then on never wore 
anything but the leather and weapons of a 
fighting man. Jeweled leather for state oc- 
casions, plain leather for fighting, and 
sleeping silks at night. Barsoomians don't 
wear clothes. When John Carter first laid 
eyes on Dejah Thoris," Deety closed her 
eyes and recited: " 'She was as destitute of 
clothes as the Green Martians.... Save for 
her highly wrought ornaments she was en- 
tirely naked.' " Deety opened her eyes, 
stared solemnly. "The women never wear 
clothes, just jewelry." 

Jake wrapped his sarong into a 
breechclout, strapped it in place with his 
saber belt. I replaced those grimy shorts 
with swim briefs, which, Deety conceded, 
were "almost Barsoomian." I was no longer 
dependent on Jake's clothes; my travel kit, 
always in my car, once I got at it, supplied 
necessities from passport to poncho. 
Sharpie wore pearls and rings she had 
been wearing at her party, plus a scarf 
around her waist to which she attached all 
the costume jewelry Deety could dig up. 
Deety carried Hilda's mink cape, then 

CONIINIK--DONPAGE-I12 




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izing lens, transformed the colorie™ ~. ,. 

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MALTHUS'S 
DAY 



They had a nearly 

■perfect world, where babies were the 

best possible reward 

BYJAYGECARR 



I. 



3 came while 
Janica was light-sculpting, wilh Sylvie hovering ner- 
vously about the perimeter and trying to make her- 
self useful. 

That was typical of both of them; Janica, at that 
point in her life, anyway, lived her art, while Sylvie's 
reason for transferring to Pavlova Village was to sit at 
the feet — often literally -of one of the acknowl- 
edged virtuosos of the newest and most demanding 
multidiscipline. 

So, characteristically. Janica stood cool and ele- 
gant in her chartreuse paint-dye and projectors, 
while Sylvie jittered, checking all the last-minute 
details - were the projectors perfectly in synch, per- 
fectly centered on wrist and forehead and ankle, 
perfectly aligned? -over and over. (Most light- 
sculptors were content with three or at most four 
projectors, wrists and forehead, say. or, more dif- 
ficult, wrists and ankles. But Janica was never con- 
tent wilh fewer than five, and sometimes, with a con- 
temptuous casualness that literally awed her young 
acolyte, she added a sixth at the waist.) 

But once the music started, it was Sylvie who 
stood, unmoving. scarcely breathing, while Janica's 
sinuous body swayed in delicate interpretation of the 
plaintive melody that filled the studio. 

"Greensleeves." sang a poignant young girl's 
voice, "is my defight . . ." 

And Janica danced, a sad, slow weaving of loss 
and loneliness; as she moved, the projectors left 
their trails of living light, ribbons of color, thick and 
dark tor slow, deliberate movements and thin and 
light for the quick leaps and pirouettes, 

This one. Sylvie thought, this one is going ■■ 

The strident brr-rrring of a wrist-corn shrilled 
through the soft singing, and Janica jerked, destroy- 
ing the smoothness of the furls of solidifying light. 

"I thought you knew enough to set your com on 
hold." Janica snarled, snapping off the projectors 
and plowing through the still-fluid curls, ruining the 
earlier perfect part of the sculpture. 

PAINTING BY WOLFGANG HUTTER 




"But I did-l-l-1 ..." 

"You didn't, obviously." A scorntul flip of 
her still-project ored arm behind her. "Wipe 
that; it's ruined. And answer your boring 
corn." 

It was still ringing — an imperious, leeth- 
jarring shrillness. 

"But it's not my com, Janica, see?" She 
held out her wrist. The blinking red light that 
should have accompanied any demand for 
attention wasn't on, 

Janica's silver-rimmed eyes widened just 
slightly. Then she moved, still with that 
feline, sinuous grace, to the shelf where her 
personal items were neatly placed. But the 
red light wasn't blinking; it stared at them, a 
continuous crimson leer. 

"Override." Sylvie was puzzled. 

"Official override," Janica retorted and 
smiled slowly, and her thumb pushed down. 

"Citizen Janica Petain-Suharto," said the 
life-size, vaguely familiar holo-image that 
appeared, "as your officially com- 
pute'lected representative . . ." 

The news was all over the village in min- 
utes, and it was the main topic of conversa- 
tion for weeks— except among those few 
individuals who were, or pretended to be, 
indifferent. Janica herself was completely 
blase\ It was, as she occasionally re- 
minded her neighbors, her second time. 

Sylvie was positively g reen with envy. Her 
mind kept producing harmless scenarios. 
Janica miscalculating one of her unnatu- 
rally high leaps, breaking her leg, and 



being rushed immediately to a hosp. 

The entire village exposed to some mys- 
terious neovirai disease (nonfatal and 
eventually curable, of course!); only Sylvie, 
through some strange mutant quirk in her 
physiology, both immune and a noncarrier 

Even Sylvie knew they were only dreams. 
Nothing bad or sad would ever happen to 
Janica, proud darling of the powers that be; 
or to Phil, either. But who ever noticed Phil. 
when Janica, sleek and elegant, was in 
view? Besides, this was Phil's first. 

"But isn't it exciting!" Sylvie whispered to 
her newtermhus, Ray. 

Ray older and far more experienced, 
yawned and switched channels on the nolo 
that displayed over their double bed. 
"Yeah, sure, but it's not as if we were cho- 
sen, hon. You'd do better to watch it on the 
holo; you'll see more." 

"Oh, pooh, stodgy old thing," she 
pouted. "Janica is my friend. I'm sure she'll 
invite me to— well . . ." 

"Yuck," he rejected all the choices and 
stopped the discussion by reaching for his 
termwife. 

One hour before M-day they officially 
closed off all the transmatters in the 
village — except for one. (There were no 
fences around the village, but with the 
ubiquitous transmatters making another 
continent a step away, who knew— or 
cared— if the nearest village was physi- 
cally a kilometer away— or a hundred?) 




As M-day began, in the darkness, at 
least half of the villagers were crowded 
around the single functioning transmatter 
The sees made the people keep a wide 
opening around the machine. 

At precisely midnight the transmatter 
glowed, and shapes solidified. At first the 
curious watchers saw only a team of 
white-clad medics; but as they moved, 
glimpses of a sealed carrier, floating at 
about chest height, were caught. 

The chief medic identified himself to the 
security chief. Although both teams 
worked in shifts, they had undoubtedly met 
each other on numberless similar mid- 
nights. Still, you didn't get to be a security 
chief by being careless. All the medics 
were checked out— the checks carefully 
designed not to break the integrity of the 
sealed suits— and the security chief her- 
self ran through the checks on the chief 
medic. 

Once the checks were completed, the 
chief medic took over, Leaving guards at 
the transmatter, which would be sealed 
until M-day ended, the cortege turned to- 
ward Phil and Janica's cottage, which was 
generously sized, Tudor-beamed, and 
synt hi -thatch- roofed, but dwarfed by the 
long glasshouse studio behind it. 

Phil stood proudly at the front of the mob. 
As soon as the medic was certified, he 
stepped forward. "I'm the—" 

"Get back," a security guard snarled, 
just as if he hadn't helped check Phil out, 
along with the rest of the watchers, not half 
an hour before. 

Phil stopped, puzzled, his feelings hurt. 
"But I'm the—" he began again, nervously 
backing off the grassy path and into the 
night-blooming mooncreams that lined it, 
crushing some of the fragile flowerets, 

One of the medics spoke to the crowd. 
"Stand out of our way, please. We've a tight 
schedule to maintain." They pushed past 
him, and Phil stood staring after them, 
good-natured face blank, mouth hanging 
slightly open. It wasn't until one of his 
neighbors nudged him and said, "Better 
get along, Phil," that he came out of his 
daze and trotted along after the parade 
heading loward his cottage. 

{It was a parade that diminished rapidly, 
as more and more of its components de- 
cided they could see more on their holos 
than by trying to crane over thei r neighbors' 
heads.) 

M-day plus twenty minutes. 

The security chief raised her hand to ac- 
tivate the cottage's announcer, but Janica 
opened her door, making it obvious that she 
had been watching the whole thing on her 
holo. The chief checked Janica's I.D. and 
compared her retina prints and pore pat- 
terns with the I.D. and— just to be sure— 
with central records. "Who else is present?" 
she asked Janica. 

"No one at the moment," Janica frowned. 
"But I do hope I'll be allowed to invite some 
of my very special friends later . . ." 

"Naturally" the secoff nodded. "Within 
limits, as you've been told. And of course, if 



they're already here, within the village. We 
sealed your village as soon as— " 

"My termhus, Phil," Janica gestured 
casually to indicate the red-faced man el- 
bowing his way through the crowd, which 
was being kept well back from her door. To 
his outrage, he was checked out again, 
before being allowed into his very own col- 
lage, Then the secoff nodded and ges- 
tured the medics with their carrier inside 
and firmly shut the door. 

(Only three of the medics actually went 
inside; the others either waited patiently in 
the grassy open space, the targets of 
numerous staring eyes, or moved off to 
other duties. Many of the watchers left, too. 
Staring at a closed door seemed rather , 
futile, especially when the holos would be 
showing the scene inside, live.) 

Inside, the secoff was performing intro- 
ductions. 'Citizen Janica Petain-Suharto, 
Citizen Phil Jones-Vishinsky, may I present 
Citizen Medic Herve Ling-Hart and his 
staff," She glanced at her wrist, her throat 
worked, and asubvocal message went out. 
(The team has your shelter set up, Herve. if 
the second and third shifts want to go and 
relax.) 

"Congratulations to the both of you," the 
medic beamed, stepping forward and 
shaking hands vigorously. "If you'd care to 
see my credentials , . ," 

"No, no. Doc," Phil grinned heartily. 
"Good enough for the lieut here, good 
enough for this citizen, right, Lieut? 1 ' 

"You'll want to know the day's schedule, 
of course," the doctor nodded. 

"Schedule?" Phil was puzzled. He 
flopped downward, and an extrude slid out 
from the wall and caught him in a sitting 
position with neat precision, "I thought we 
had our choice. I thought — " 

"Yes and no," the doctor frowned. His 
own throat worked silently, (Weren't these 
citizens briefed. Shirza?) In his ears, a tiny 
raspberry of disgust echoed. "Yes, there is 
a schedule, and I'm afraid we must insist it 
be adhered to, However, there is a certain 
amount of flexibility; within that and con- 
sidering the subject's physical 
limitations — " 

"Limitations?" Phil interrupted, "I thought 
nothing but perfect was allowed," 

"Oh, Phil," Janica was disgusted. "Have 
you forgotten? They're smaller." 

"Oh," Phil's face cleared. 

"If you weren't so boringly handsome," 
she muttered. 

"The schedule," the medic hid his dis- 
gust better than Janica, "begins with 
awakening at aught six hundred precisely. 
Medichecks will take approximately ten 
minutes. Afterward, you two, and as many 
as four of your friends, can have breakfast 
with the subject—" 

"Yeah, we know," Phil was nodding. He 
loved to hand out favors. "You should see 
what me an' Janny— " (Janica winced; she 
had told him and told him) " — have 
whipped^up for breakfast. He's gonna 
love - " 

"I'm afraid." the medic was very firm. 



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Cambridge University's 

first Ph.D. in parapsychology 

just may have proved 

the existence of ESP, but his 

fraud-proof research 

hasn't quieted committed skeptics 



inJTERV/IELTU 




Carl Sargent not only is the first man ever to be granted a 
doctorate in parapsychology by England's prestigious 
Cambridge University. He is also the first to receive such 
an honor from any of England's traditionally conservative academic 
shrines. It looks as if Dr. Sargent's recognition is well earned. His 
experiments are causing a stir in British scientific circles because 
they seem to solve two problems that have long bedeviled psi 
studies: Psychic phenomena often seem loo weak to be interest- 
ing, and when an experiment does give significant results, it often 
proves impossible to repeat them. Sargent's iests seem to show 
that ESP is like a weak sense, hard to pin down because it is 
normally suffocated by the enormous flow of sound, light, and 
other information reaching the brain. 

He's Been testing what is known as the Ganzfeld technique. He 
uses "white noise" to blank out the subject's hearing and places 
half ping-pong balls over their eyes to eliminate visual distractions. 
Under these conditions, the brain simply stops paying attention to 



external sights and sounds, and inner visions come to the fore. In a 
typical ESP test, a person "in Ganzfeld" describes his thoughts 
while a distant sender tries to project an image into his mind. After 
about 35 minutes, the experimenter shows the subject four pic- 
tures. One is the target. The subject then ranks the pictures ac- 
cording to how well they match his Ganzfeld thoughts. Guessing 
the target gives only one chance in tour of a correct answer. 

In their first experiments, Sargent, Trevor Har ley, and other Cam- 
bridge colleagues tested 26 people, who took personality tests 
before the experiment. After the Ganzfeld trial, but before they saw 
any of the pictures, the subjects filled in a questionnaire about their 
experiences. Eight, or 31 percent, then said the target picture fitted 
their visions. It was better than chance, but not significantly so. 

Sargent was encouraged, however. He reasoned that if 
Ganzfeld works by reducing our sensory signals to habits thai can 
be ignored — a process that takes 20 minutes or so— ESP scores 
should improve with time. That was exactly what he found. Scores 



at the start were appallingly bad. then improved, and ended high. 
Two more series gave 45-percent correct answers. A fourth gave 
44-percent, and all subjects scored better than chance. In all 
tests, ESP performance seemed to be related to two personality 
variables. Extroverts did better than introverts, and people who 
said on the questionnaire that Ganzfeld had changed their con- 
sciousness did better than those who were relatively unaffected. 



In a field as controversial as parapsychology, test methods must 
be tight enough to eliminate any chance of fraud or ot misinterpret- 
ing results. Few are— which is why it is so significant that Sargent's 
repeated experiments passed the strict Cambridge examiners. In 
their conversation Dr. Christopher Evans — one of Omni's contribut- 
ing editors and a well-known British skeptic — probed the impor- 
tance of Sargent's work for parapsychology 



Omni: Oxford and Cambridge have a tra- 
dition of rejecting doctoral Iheses about 
ESP. Getting your doctorate in this elusive 
area seems to represent a significant mile- 
stone for parapsychology. 
Sargent: When I proposed this topic, I 
didn't encounter any significant opposition. 
Quite the reverse. It's really a question oi 
how you do the research. If it's properly 
' conducted, if the methods are correct, then 
I don't see that there can be any objections 
to a Ph.D. in any subject whatsoever, let 
alone parapsychology. Now, as for making 
a novel contribution to science, which is 
what a Ph.D. is supposed to be about, 
parapsychology is an extremely easy field, 
because it's one in which relatively little of 
the groundwork has been mapped out. 
Omni: What did you actually set out to do 
in your thesis? 

Sargent: I wanted to research the indi- 
vidual-difference variable — what makes 
one person apparently capable of ESP and 
another not — and I started by looking at 
personality factors. It's long been main- 
tained that certain types of personality are 
particularly favorable to success in these 
tasks. In a couple of experiments I did in- 
deed find an anxiety factor coming into 
play. Experimenters who had very low anxi- 
ety scores on a standard test got very vari- 
able results from their subjects. Some of 
the subjects would score very high and 
some very low. However, experimenters 
with high anxiety had subjects who clus- 
tered very closely around chance. 

Now it's been said that the experi- 
menter's task in parapsychology is to liber- 
ate the subject's innate capacity, and one 
could argue that that's what the low-anxiety 
experimenters were doing. But that wasn't 
really satisfactory because I wasn't finding 
anything that differentiated between exper- 
imenters who got results and those who 
didn't. Later I had the opportunity to look at 
the work of another parapsychologist, 
Adrian Parker, from Edinburgh. He had 
made certain predictions that I proceeded 
to test, of which the most important was that 
successful Ganzfeld experimenters should 
be more extroverted than those who 
weren't. And that's exactly how it turned 
out. What was also interesting was that, as 
a group, the people who were not getting 
results were phenomenally introverted. 
Omni: From this kind of study, you should 
be able to establish which are the strong 
ESP-promoting factors, and from then on 
you should be able to get ESP on tap. 
Sargent: Well r -it may not be as easy as 
that. It's plain that the procedures that yield 
the big effects are the ones that involve 
altered states of consciousness— sleep, 

82 OMNI 



hypnosis, and so on — and they might be 
very difficult to "get on tap," as you put it, 
and to use in everyday life. The weak ef- 
fects are all you can get in the waking state, 
and may be the "important" ones from the 
point of view of practicability. 
Omni: It seems as if you have tied down 
some critical variables in parapsychology. 
Unfortunately, this is reminiscent of other 
"breakthroughs" of this kind in the past. For 
example, in the 1940s Gertrude Schmeid- 
ler showed that people who believed in 
ESP— she called them sheep — were more 
likely to score above chance, while those 
who disbelieved— the goats— were likely 
to score below chance. These sheep/goat 
studies were never duplicated, were they? 
Sargent: There are many reasons for this. 
The first thing is that the Schmeidler exper- 
iment used enormous numbers of subjects 
and yet the magnitude of the effect was 
very small. Many people who reported that 
they had failed to replicate the experiment 
simply didn't have a data base big enough 
to get the effect. The second point is that in 
many of the repeat studies people used 
different ways of assessing the sheep/goat 
variable. Simple things, like the wording of 
questionnaires, can substantially change 
the variable that you are measuring. 

So, given all these factors, one wouldn't 
have expected very high replicability In 
fact, the replicability isn't as bad as you 
make out. It's about 35 percent, which 
means that a bit over a third of the experi- 
menters who repeated the experiment 
found a significant difference favoring the 
sheep. That is quite good for what is admit- 
ted to be a weak effect. 
Omni: By "weak effect," you mean one that 
doesn't appear to be particularly useful to 
anyone. What is there in parapsychology 
that you would describe as a strong effect? 
Sargent: An excellent example is the 
Ganzfeld work. It's one of a range of 
techniques ■ - hypnosis, meditation, pro- 
gressive relaxation, dream states— that 
have at least two things in common. These 
two things are clearly very important in in- 
ducing ESP. One is the reduction of distrac- 
tion by such external factors as visual and 
auditory stimuli. The other is that the sub- 
ject's attention is forced onto internal pro- 
cesses. It seems that the mind becomes 
increasingly preoccupied with things that 
are going on inside rather than outside the 
head. So distraction and internalization are 
two key effects in producing ESP and are 
themselves readily induced by the Ganz- 
feld. The repeatability rate of Ganzfeld 
studies is higher than anything else in 
parapsychology— almost 60 percent. 
Omni: It sounds as if Ganzfeld might have 



immediate practcal applications. Is that 
true? Can you think of other applications of 
ESP if it could be demonstrated to be true? 
Sargent: Yes, but there's a special prob- 
lem here. Suppose you wanted, say, to 
transmit telepathically the contents of a let- 
ter, a file, or something. Like it or not, you'll 
have noise within the ESP channel because 
ofwhat is going on in the mind of the viewer, 
and this might limit transmission or recep- 
tion. Also, most successful experiments so 
far have used inherently "interesting" 
stimuli, such as pictorial targets, art prints, 
cartoons, and so on, If you tried to transmit 
binary code, it would be a damn sight less 
interesting and might not work. 
Omni: I would have thought that the 
transmission of pictures by ESP would be 
very useful. To take the most extreme case, 
the CIA might train people to work in Ganz- 
feld and pump information back to base 
without having to use a radio transmitter. 
Sargent: I'm very skeptical about this. 
Consider what you are doing psychologi- 
cally. To obtain successful ESP, it seems 
that you have to promote a high degree of 
openness and receptivity, If you started 
playing around with espionage, where 
you're dealing with a person in a yery vul- 
nerable state and surrounded by hostility 
and paranoia, then I suspect that the whole 
system is just going to clam up. In fact there 
is experimental evidence for this. 

A more promising field might be precog- 
nition. To give a rather way-out example, 
one might use a reliable precognitive tech- 
nique to predict natural disasters. Just 
think how useful parapsychologisis would 
be in California if they could get information 
about when it is going to slide into the sea! 

Perhaps that's a bit speculative. Let me 
give a different example. I have often seen 
in our own Ganzfeld work that people who 
work together regularly as a sender/re- 
ceiver pair soon begin to strike up a quite 
remarkable rapport. I've observed time 
and time again that after repeatedly work- 
ing together, they achieve episodes of a 
special kind of mental receptivity between 
each other. This overflows into their daily 
life to produce an unusual degree of open- 
ness between them. I can't help seeing an 
important psychotherapeutic aspect here, 
coming from the fact that you are working 
with an altered state of consciousness that 
simply opens people up to new communi- 
cation possibilities. 

Omni: But surely we've got to the point 
where either something is beginning to 
happen in parapsychology or it isn't. If it 
is — and like lots of scientists, I'd be abso- 
lutely thrilled if that were the case — then 
should we expect some real practical ap- 

CONT NUHOON PAGE 106 



.'.".■-.■^* : ;'i 



!// '"' 



ILLEGAL 
ALIENS 



Visitors from space 
ose legal entanglemer 



r 



* ( . 


1 



r" ROBERT A. FREITAS,JR 



A 

# « light flashes in the 
night sky i 
tors scramble northward from — .... 

Base. The glowing spot 



orange-red. Sirei 
while powerful s 



*WR8* 






A side panel ui 
out a blinding light from within. A hi 
figure appears in shadowy silt 

cylindrical object in one 

:es in friendly greeting. 

Suddenly the sharp crack of a rifle 

pierces the air. Several onlookers scream in 

unison as a fountain of green, foamy liqu.'"' 

spurts from the visitor's head. The creatui 



in 



:-day American law 
; all living entities into three strictly 



This distinction is of critical importance. 



ford legal rights and responsibilities only io 
persons. Nonpersons — animals, plants, 
and nonliving entities, such as cars and 
computers— have no rights and are re- 
garded as mere property. Property may not 
bring legal action on its own behalf, al- 
though its human owner may do so to re- 
cover any losses of property. 

The extraterrestrial (ET) in the opening 
scene was not a member of the species 
Homo sapiens and was therefore nonhu- 
man by definition. However, it appears to 
have been alive and capable of voluntary 
motion; hence, it cannot have been a plant. 
Thus the creature was legally, by rebuttable 
presumption, an animal. 

Technically, the ET should be classified 
as fera naturae ("a wild animal") because 
no proof Of tameness or ownership was 
evident. Wild animals running loose on pri- 
vate property may be hunted and killed by, 
or captured and reduced to being the per- 
sonal possession of, any human being 
armed with buckshot and a little courage. 
On federal lands such creatures are under 
the jurisdiction of the Fish and Wildlife Ser- 
vice of the Department of the Interior on 
state lands they are subject to the state's 
Department of Fish and Game. Either au- 
thority may declare a "special open season 
on said game," or the agencies themselves 
may destroy an animal that is causing in- 
jury to human life or property. 

BENEATH THE LAW 

Even if the extraterrestrial is somehow 
regarded as domita naturae ("a tame ani- 
mal"), its legal position hardly improves. 
Cruelty-to-animals laws exist in virtually all 
the states, but this does not alter the crea- 
tures' basic lack of rights. For instance, a 
surgical operation, even if it produces the 
most intense pain and suffering, may 
nonetheless be considered justifiable and 
noncriminal if its purpose is to "make the 
animal useful to man." Thus the violent 
castration of a young horse or bull does not 
fall within laws prohibiting cruelty to ani- 
mals. And most statutes specifically ex- 
clude invertebrates. If an ET resembles a 
cross between a sea scorpion and a grass- 
hopper, it may have no protection what- 
soever. 

The very idea of treating an extraterres- 
trial visitor to our fair planet as a mere ani- 
mal may at first seem outrageous to many, 
but this is the letter, if not the spirit, of the 
law. At various times in human history, 
blacks, children, women, foreigners, pris- 
oners, and Jews have been regarded as 
nonpersons in one society or another. 
Cetaceans of putative high intelligence are 
routinely slaughtered around the world for 
dog food. Even corporate personalities of 
one state are not considered "persons" in 
another state unless they have strictly 
complied with conditions set down by that 
state to carry on business there. We should 
not expect ETs .to fare any better. 

How does all this relate to crimes involv- 
ing off-world visitors? 

Consider the crime of homicide. Statutes 

86 OMNI 



describing the corpus delicti for this of- 
fense always include two parts; (1) the kill- 
ing of a human being (2) by a human being. 
Since criminal laws are always strictly con- 
strued by the courts, the corpus delicti for 
homicide cannot be met under current law 
in any case involving extraterrestrial be- 
ings. If a man kills an alien visitor, he is not 
guilty of murder, since no "human being" 
has died. Shockingly enough, the converse 
situation, in which a human is slain by an 
ET, yields the same result: There is no mur- 
der, since the man died at the hands of a 
nonhuman. 

Similar difficulties will arise in rape 
cases. The usual common-law definition of 
the offense goes like this: "The unlawful 
carnal knowledge of a woman by a man 
forcibly and against her will." But woman is 
strictly defined as a female member of the 
human species, and man as a male Homo 
sapiens. Even assuming he/she/it/they 
have the necessary physiological equip- 
ment, no extraterrestrial being legally can 



6// an extraterrestrial commits 

a technical 
illegal entry, it may be subject 

to immediate 
deportation. With rides on the 

shuttle costing 

$4 million, this should prove 

interesting!? 



be -either the perpetrator or the victim of 
rape. 

Paradoxically, if the female in question 
gives her consent and no force is used, the 
human member of the interspecies couple 
will be charged with the crime of bestiality 
(copulation with a beast) and may be pros- 
ecuted under state sodomy statutes. 
These offenses traditionally carry stiff 
penalties. Not too long ago the common- 
law punishment for bestiality was death, 
sometimes by burning, sometimes by bury- 
ing alive. And as recently as 1953 eight 
states stipulated a maximum of life impris- 
onment for such "crimes against nature." 
The alien partner gets off scot-free in this 
affair; since nonhuman animals cannot be 
held guilty of criminal conduct. 

A few broad-minded jurists have sug- 
gested that a "person" is a person not be- 
cause he is human but because rights and 
duties are ascribed to him. In this view, 
becoming a person is like joining an exclu- 
sive country club. If your appearance is 
acceptable, your references impeccable, 
and your behavior vouched for by credible 
sponsors, you're in. 

Ultimately, then, the granting of legal 



"person" stalus in our system of justice is a 
political question, a matter of basic public 
policy. Society must decide to whom it 
wishes to grant legal rights and duties. Cer- 
tainly any sentient being who demon- 
strates the humanlike characteristics of ra- 
tionality, possession of technology or a 
symbolic language, -a sense of time, ma- 
nipulative appendages, emotions, self- 
awareness or consciousness, or the ability 
to make moral choices should be consid- 
ered worthy of personhood in our society. 

Assuming we elect to treat extraterrestri- 
al beings as legal persons, what kind of 
persons will they be considered? 

One possibility is that ETs might be af- 
forded refugee status. Refugees are, tech- 
nically, stateless persons, neither citizens 
nor nationals of any country on Earth. A 
common definition of this status is: "any 
person uprooted from his home who has 
crossed a frontier — natural or artificial — 
and who looks for protection and suste- 
nance from a government other than his 
former one." Space creatures stranded 
here, out in the galactic boondocks near 
Sol, seem to fit this description rather well. 

If extraterrestrial visitors are regarded as 
refugees, will they have any legal rights? In 
many nations they won't. However, in the 20 
or so countries where the convention relat- 
ing to the status of stateless persons has 
been adopted, refugees do have the same 
rights as those held by any foreign national. 
(This may not amount to much— Uganda 
was a signatory even during Idi Amin's 
regime — but at least it's a start.) In the 
United States, which is not a signatory to 
the convention, even stateless persons are 
protected by the Bill of Rights. 

ETs might also be viewed as aliens, per- 
sons owing allegiance to a foreign govern- 
ment. Since other worlds are foreign, within 
the meaning of the appropriate statutes, 
extraterrestrials will most likely fall under 
this classification. In this country aliens, 
too, are protected by the Bill of Rights, and 
all are subject to the criminal jurisdiction of 
the United States. 
PUBLIC OFFENDERS ____ 

There are countless subclasses of 
aliens. For example, an illegal alien is one 
who has entered the country without pass- 
ing through the normal channels of admis- 
sion administered by the U.S. Immigration 
and Naturalization Service. In a surprise- 
contact scenario, the extraterrestrial visitor 
will commit a technical illegal entry and 
thus may be subject to immediate deporta- 
tion proceedings. (With rides on the space 
shuttle costing about $4 million just to low 
Earth orbit, this should prove interesting!) 

A related subclass is Ihe alien enemy , the 
citizen of some hostile foreign power. If the 
President feels that the landing of an ET 
may be a prelude to invasion, he is au- 
thorized by law to order the federal mar- 
shals to "apprehend, restrain, secure, and 
remove" all alien enemies, For the alien this 
could mean isolation, interrogation, and 
concentration camp. However, even if Con- 



eist-CEHTURV FOBS 



An interstellar gallery from the acknowledged 
master of realism in SF art 



Uhris Foss painls spaceships too 
big for the horizon to hold. He gives form to intergalactic arks thai ramjet 
and ion-drive enlire civilizations trom one remote star system to another. 
Foss's eye for detail is meticulous. His ships endure explosions in 
space battles that often leave them scarred and blasted, limping home 

Clockwise trom above left a doglighi in space; "Sea-Horse in the SKy"; an 
interstellar cruiser; vessel lands al ready-made runways ol the Nazca plains in 
Peru. Foss conveys massive size through attention to minute, precise detail. 






to monstrous continental dry docks. Foss says they are "very tatty 
spaceships." And the curiously antiquated qualities of his vehicles 
evoke memories of Edwardian ocean liners and World War 1 tanks. Yet 
his structures are post-modern, asymmetrical, immense, and totally 
unlike the needle-nosed and streamlined shapes of his predecessors. 
As a child in Devon, England, Chris was fascinated by the remains of 
the Industrial Revolution, its aging railway stations, the abandoned 
mines. Obsessed by speed, color, and hybrid technology, he built 
models of steam engines and rebuilt wrecked cars Irom scrap metal. 
Foss's ambition always was to become an artist, but to placate his 

Clockwise from lower right: airbrush painting, "invasion irom Space": "The 
Machine in Shaft 10"; "Away and Beyond" shows a spaceport under attack: 
Foss's conceptualization of twin towers of Atlantis, the mythical metropolis. 



£ The giant planetoids of Star Wars are the offspring of Foss's "crazed and rusted leviathans. 9 



• Next to the soul, the most beautiful object in the galaxy is the spaceship. 9 



parents, he entered architecture school at Cambridge- While at the 
university. Foss sold a six-page cartoon strip to Bob Guccione (or his 
British Penthouse magazine. Guccione (later to publish Omni) was so 
impressed that he put the artist on retainer so that he could build up his 
portfolio. Within six years Foss grew into an internationally acclaimed 
science-iiction artist. Such authors as Asimov and Clarke asked specif- 
ically for him to illustrate their novels. Then came the films. Foss's 
imagery inspired a small army of imitators, including TV and movie 
designers. Foss was the first to conceptualize the crystalline planet 
Krypton for the movie Superman. Twentieth Century-Fox asked him to 





work on concepls for Alien. But perhaps Foss's most monumental 
works were executed tor a film that may never be completed. In 1975 
Alejandro Jodorowsky (director of El Topo) was commissioned to film 
Frank Herbert's SF classic Dune, and he asked Foss to design the 
impressive panoply ot the Padishah Empire. Jodorowsky says, "Foss is 
a being as real and unreal as his spaceships, a medieval goldsmith of 
future eons, and from him are born the leather and dagger-studded 
machines of the Sardaukers. the pachydermatous geometry of Em- 
peror Padishah's golden planet, the delicate butterfly plane and other 
machines thai will one day populate all ot interstellar space." OO 

Clockwise from lower right: "Calchworld": a pilot ejects Irom stricken lighter ship 
in the design lor Perry Rhodan's The Vega Sector, - "Mission to the Stars": 
illustration lor the cover of John Varley's 7977 epic novel The Ophiuchi Hotline. 



ihiis style is influenced by J.M. W. Turner, the virtuoso painter of land, sea, and light. * 




• ' -'. 



piercing bursts of laser cannon and photon 
torpedoes. In seconds, the target disinte- 
grates, the result of a direct hit. Once again, 
Big Trak has saved the day, 

The vehicle described here is not the end 
result ot some secret government contract 
but. rather, a toy built by Milton Bradley. 
Designed for children aged eight to eighty, 
Big Trak, with its intricate computer control 
center, is typical of the- electronic toys that 
will be displayed this holiday season. 
Department-store shelves will be over- 
stocked with large, easy-to-use keyboard 
toys that will enable children to perform the 
simplest of programming tasks. "They're 
priceless learning experiences," says a 
representative of Milton Bradley, whose 
Simon computer game made electronic 
sales history in 1978. "Toys such as Big Trak 
will help children prepare for the sophisti- 
cation of that great big computerized world 
out there." Spurred on by major technologi- 
cal advances, today's toy manufacturers 
have made more widespread use of micro- 
electronics than any other industry, And the 
public has responded eagerly. 

This tremendous upsurge has been 
prompted largely by combining human 
imagination with the electronic micro- 
processor, the same tiny silicon chips that 
sparked the intelligence of pocket cal- 
culators and eliminated the term sffefe rule 
from the vocabulary of the 1970s. Already. 
toy companies have bought an estimated 
50 percent of the $500 million in chips pro- 
duced annually, and microprocessor- 
controlled games have easily become the 
most sophisticated form of interaction 
among average Americans. 

"We're seeing a new world opening for 
the toy industry" says Milton Bradley mar- 
keting executive George Ditomassi. "The 
tremendous cleanup we all experienced in 
1978 was astounding. Far more twenty- to 



forty-year-olds started coming into toy 
stores last year, especially males. And not 
only are older people buying toys; younger 
kids are using the same toys, and they're 
displaying a sense of sophistication we 
never dreamed of a few years ago." 

"We're not that far from being able to 
build a real R2-D2," says astrophysicist 
Robert Doyle, inventor of Merlin, one of last 
year's hottest-selling computer toys. Merlin 
is a little red fellow that looks like a 
Touchtone phone, sounds like R2-D2. and 
provides his master with a choice of six 
games, including blackjack and ticktack- 
toe. Milton Bradley's Simon is a device akin 
to the mother ship in Close Encounters of 
the Third Kind, complete with lights and 
tones offered in increasingly difficult se- 
quences that must be repeated exactly by 
the player, 

"it's almost frightening to think," says Jeff 
Rochlis, president of Mattel Electronics, 
"that just two years ago there were only four 
electronic items. This Christmas there will 
be literally hundreds." Yet those four 
items— electronic football, auto racing, 
submarine chase games, and a brain- 
teaser computer— grossed a respectable 
$21 million for the toy industry. By 1978 the 
figures had jumped 500 percent, to a 
S112-million share of the $3.8-billion toy in- 
dustry, This year toy manufacturers expect 
electronics to register a staggering tenfold 
increase and push the industry into the 
$5-billion sphere, 

Parents who struggled in vain last 
Christmas to locate Simon or Merlin may 
find their problems severely compounded 
this year when they search for; 
• Phaser Guns, modeled on those in the 
Star Trek movie. They emit infrared bursts 
coupled with synthesized audio. Hitting 
another gun results in a ricochet sound; a 
direct hit on the other gun's sensor triggers 



an explosion and shuts that phaser down 
for nine seconds. 

• Microvision, a Milton Bradley innovation 
that uses liquid-crystal displays to repli- 
cate the television Pong games in hand- 
held. $30 units. Interchangeable chips 
allow the player to select any one of a half- 
dozen games, from Space Wars to bowling 
to Pong. 

• Wildfire, a hand-held pinball game that 
uses light-emitting diodes to re-create the 
action of bumpers, flippers, and balls. Syn- 
thesized sound duplicates the noise of the 
real game, and the machine even tilts. 

• Brain Baffler, a hand-held game with a 
complete alphanumeric keyboard that 
scrambles words, plays hangman, flashes 
anagrams, shuffles letters randomly, and 
plays a total of six word-based games 
against either the computer or another 
player 

• Electronic Football II, a more sophisti- 
cated version of the Mattel original. It sold 
over a million units last year. This one adds 
more players to the field and allows pass- 
ing and lost yardage. 

• Zodiac, an astrology computer from Co- 
leco, It figures, in a matter of ten seconds, 
the position of the moon and the planets for 
any birthdate, time, and place entered into 
the unit. A book for figuring out one's 
horoscope comes with the computer. 
Another unit, the Mattel Horoscope Com- 
puter, gives direct alphanumeric predic- 
tions for specific dates entered. 

And then there is Mattel's Intellivision. 

Intellivision is the first home computer 
that doesn't have to be programmed, and it . 
has as many-game functions as it does 
record-keeping programs. The system is 
displayed on the home color-television 
screen, and the resolution is precise 
enough that baseball players' caps can be 
seen distinctly. 




Milton Bradley's computerized Big Trak— the 
first completely programmable toy vehicle. 



The entire unit will sell for $500, with more 
memory capability— 16,000 bytes— than 
is now available for nearly twice the price. 

"Toys," says Jim Mullen of the vanguard 
microprocessor firm Texas Instruments, 
"have become the frontier of consumer 
electronics." 

Never was this more evident than at this 
year's American Toy Fair, held recently in 
New York City. Sponsored by the American 
Toy Association, the annual convention has 
become a barometer for the world's leading 
toy manufacturers, consistently forecasting 
the direction that the industry is taking. Ev- 
erywhere at the fair, there was an encounter 
' with some form of electronic intelligence. 
Buyers shuttled into a darkened chamber 
for the presentation of yet another toy and 
heard a demonstrator innocently announce 
that Star Rider will be "the hobbyhorse of 
the twenty-first century." 

Lights! Fanfare! Film clips! Enemy ships 
approaching! Sights! Phasers! Fire lasers! 

Even as the noise of the demonstration 
subsides, an overhead floodlight bathes 
the spaceship in pure white light while the 
Star Rider operator points out the salient 
indestructible features of the craft. 

"This is really designed for a three-year- 
old," he says, "but we've had up to a 
hundred twenty pounds on it with no prob- 
lem." 

Everywhere at the fair were the products 
of JS&A, the company that first popped the 
electronic calculator on an unsuspecting 
nation through ads in the Wall Street Jour- 
nal seven years ago. "What we've seen till 
now," says Joe Sugarman, president of the 
futuristic electronics firm, "has been a kind 
of first generation of electronic items- 
calculators, watches, and games. We've 
already seen a plateau in the pocket- 
calculator market, and now I think we're 
ning to see some sophisticated mi- 



croprocessor devices for the consumer" 

For example: voice synthesis. One of last 
year's most intriguing developments was 
Texas Instruments' Speak & Spell, a small 
calculator that spells about 240 different 
words and then pronounces them electron- 
ically—re-creating the sound of human 
speech from information digitally stored (no 
tape or moving parts) in three chips the 
size of a thumbnail. 

Merlin inventor Doyle says the home- 
computer, toy and game frontier is proba- 
bly expanding more rapidly than any other 
industry. 

"First of all," he says, "we're seeing a 
tremendous increase every year in the 
amount of memory available. Two years 
ago we had one thousand bytes [a combi- 
nation of eight bits, or the amount of binary 
digits needed to retrieve one letter from a 
memory bank; four bits, or one half of a 
byte, equal to one nibble]. A typical game 
requires about seven hundred bytes just for 
the overhead of setting up the play. So we 
had three hundred left. Now, last year we 
had a two-thousand-byte capacity, which 
gave us a lot more to work with once the 
basic functions were taken care of." 

What happens to toys with a 4,000- or a 
5,000-byte capacity? 

Besides voice synthesis and expanded 
memory. Doyle sees alterable memory 
banks and increasingly complex display- 
screen technologies making computer 
games radically more sophisticated in 
years to come. "In Merlin, for instance." he 
says, "we have forty-eight bvtes of RAM, or 
read and alter [random or changeable! 
memory Until last year we had only ROM, or 
read-only [unchangeable] memory, You 
can program forty-eight units of musical 
information into Merlin, and he'll play the 
notes back— enough to play part of Bee- 
thoven's Ninth. The problem is that once 



you turn off the switch, he forgets. That's 
called volatile memory. Once you get non- 
volatile RAM. you have a game that can 
remember something about the personality 
of the player and address each one differ- 
ently. 

"The Speak & Spell unit shows how this 
could be taken-even further, say to identify 
a child by name, by using voice analysis. I 
don't think we're that far from a bank-teller 
machine that will know your individual voice 
print and greet you with something like, 
'Good morning, Joe. Do you have a cold 
today?'"— something that's already been 
done by Michael Freeman, designer of 
Mego's 2-XL Robot, which is a sophisti- 
cated schoolroom robot that analyzes the 
voice patterns of students and remembers 
their particular weaknesses, 

"Children are just going to have to learn 
to play in a different way," says Frances 
Noah, a buyer for two small toy shops in 
North Carolina. 

"I think we'll see two major fronts open up 
in the next two years," says inventor Doyle. 
"Why shouldn't kids of all ages love this 
stuff? We're all computers. We're all little 
adding machines. To a lot of people deal- 
ing with a computer sounds scary. The 
thing to always remember is that it's not the 
computer you're confronting; it's no more or 
less than the intelligence of the person who 
programmed it." 

"Electronic chips have been the most in- 
credible introduction to the toy industry 
since plastic." says Coleco's president, Ar- 
nold Greenburg. "By next year you'll see 
computerized dolls, trains, board games 
galore. This generation is having a love af- 
fair with electronics. These kids will be 
much more scientific and more dexterous 
than any other generation. Our real prob- 
lem now is that science and technology are 
way ahead of mass marketing. "DO 




DREAM HOUSE 



.-■OHTIkjrDFF 



Jng wiih the architectural landscape is 
more easily accomplished than blending 
with the natural environment. The Smith 
house achieves the proper blend with both 
and does so without being bland. 

The fact that there are no mechanical 
aids means no maintenance is needed and 
also makes for a quiet home. This is one of 
the most striking benefits people accus- 
tomed to hissing steam radiators, clanking 
pipes, and whining pumps will notice. The 
double shell also helps to ward off outside 
noise, and the silence in the house is dis- 
turbed only by the sounds of the refriger- 
ator and. of course, of the party in progress 
around the Jacuzzi. 

Smith's attainment of his last objec- 
tive—how the house affects his and his 
family's- heallh— is difficult lo assess. Some 
of the features, such as the mean radiant 
temperature, the relative humidity, air-ex-. 
change rates, and noise levels, yield some 
data, but there is not even, an accepted 
standard by which to judge all these fac- 
tors. Even more difficult to measure are the 
more subtle psychological benefits. For 
- these we must merely depend on our own 
senses. 'My impression of the house was 
that the. interior exuded gentleness. I could 
feel the house working quietly and effi- 
ciently, and this made a powerful impres- 
sion. Coming from the noise of New York 
City, I particularly appreciated the absence 
of mechanical noise. Other visitors' com- 
ments: "It makes you aware of subtle differ- 
ences in climate." "Comfortable in my 
jeans and T-shirt even when it's twelve de- 
grees Fahrenheit outside." And "I haven't 
had to compromise my living style in the 
least." Members of a ski group who lease 
Leone's house knew little about solar en- 
ergy but quickly learned how the house 
operated. Smith feels that this attunement 
process is a subtle benefit of living in a 
house that uses natural energy flows. It 
should play a major part in overcoming 
consumer resistance to such homes. 

A clearer picture of possible heat-flow 
mechanisms at work in the Smith house 
was provided by solar experimenter Philip 
Henshaw, whose method of studying air 
currents and temperatures in passively 
heated buildings has been the subject of 
recent controversy. Controversy notwith- 
standing, his last paper on passive solar 
heat was among 33 reports chosen as the 
best of 1978 by the International Solar En- 
ergy Society. Henshaw's description of 
mechanisms in the Smith house, which he 
insisted must be verified by direct observa- 
tion, mentions "air in contact with the outer 
wall, which is chilled and falls rapidly down 
in a stream or possibly in a series ol pulses. 
It is this, air that goes into the crawl space 
rather than a movement of the entire one- 
foot-thick section of air. [It was previously 
thought that the air mass moved uniformly 
as a whole,] This is very difficult to under- 
go OMNI 



stand unless you have made some very 
careful observations. This cold air is then 
warmed by the earth [under the house], 
rises slowly back into the air chamber, and 
warms the inner wall; Because we have a 
small volume of very cold air coming in 
contact with the storage, considerably 
more heat can be transferred than if you 
assume relatively warm air coming in con- 
tact with the earth. I think, it's a really neat 
twist in people's concepts where- it has 
been assumed all along that you had to use 
our nice high-powered, high-technology 
solution, to find out that the lowest power, 
lowest technology anything, namely the 
ground that you build the house on, can be 
the backup system. It's a nice louche." 

The success of the house somewhat 
surprised Doug Kelbaugh, an analyst at 
Stanford Research Institute. He had mod- 
eled the house for Smith a year before it 
was built. His findings indicated that the 
house would use much more'fuej than it 
actually does. He had seen the preliminary 



6 1 could feel 

the house working quietly, 

efficiently, and 

that left a powerful impression. 

Coming from 

New York City, I particularly 

appreciated the 

absence of mechanical noised 



plans and had added large floor vents to 
"improve the air flow." Smith never in- 
stalled them. 

Much less a cause of disagreement are 
the many problems ol conventional hous- 
ing that have been overcome in Smith's 
house. In most homes "ghost drafts" are 
produced by a thin layer of air being chilled 
by cold surfaces, such as windows. These 
draffs occur even in tightly sealed houses. 
The double-shell construction affords 
fewer cold surfaces to produce the drafts. 
Summertime ventilation is dramatically im- 
proved by the introduction of cool air in the 
crawl space and by opening the clerestory 
windows. The mild breeze created gives a 
sensation of much lower temperatures. For 
example, at 85°F and with an 80-percent 
relative humidity, a 3.5-mile-per-hour 
breeze can make you feel as if the tempera- 
ture is 75°F 

Central heating systems dry out room air, 
causing unhealthy as well as uncomfort- 
able effects. Besides drying out mucous 
membranes, dry air makes moisture 
evaporate from the body, causing chills 
even in a warm house. Aided by double 
vapor barriers in critical areas, the en- 



velope design of the Smith house helps 
maintain moderate humidity levels year 
round. If the humidity rises above a com- 
fortable level, opening a door to the green- 
house allows excess moisture to be quickly 
absorbed by the envelope. 

The U.S. government finally indicated its 
interest in passive-solar technology last 
January by placing~it on the select list of 
technologies that might significantly influ- 
ence our national energy picture in the near 
future, Mike Maybaum, program director 
for passive solar in the Office of Conserva- 
tion and Solar Application, described pas- 
sive solar as "an idea that can't help but 
happen . . . and is already happening with- 
out the government." 

The Energy Department's "most impor- 
tant function in the area,". Maybaum said, 
"may well be to do public relations for pas- 
sive solar and allow natural inventiveness 
to create building designs. Pressure to en- 
sure passage of- tax credits for passive- 
solar construction isalso viewed as an im- 
portant activity by the Energy Depart- 
ment." 

Some advocates of passive solar are 
skeptical about this benevolent attitude on 
the federal government's part. Bruce An- 
derson is one of the more vocal critics, He 
stated this view quite clearly in a January 
1979 interview: 

"Passive-solar design is the kind of 
technology and knowledge whose proper 
application is very regionalized, even 
localized. It's impossible tor people in 
Washington [D.C.] to be properly sensitive 
to all the thermodynamic and social ramifi- - 
cations of using [passive-solar design] 
properly, I can tell you that people up here 
[in New Hampshire] know more about 
building than anyone in Washington ever 
will. Anything the Energy Department does 
in this area will vastly complicate proce- 
dures for using passive. In fact, it's just not 
that complicated a business. It's a com- 
monsense kind of thing." 

Common sense or not, Smith's house 
was made possible only by the combined 
efforts of many people, whom Smith 
characterizes as "not experts, only people 
with sincere and professional attitudes." In- 
terest in the design concepts used in the 
construction of this house is growing 
rapidly. Architects and builders are talking 
about it; it was the subject of several semi- 
nars at the national passive solar confer- 
ence in San Jose, California; Smith himself 
has received thousands of requests for in- 
formation this past year. He told me recently 
that he would like to see 1 00 of these homes 
built in the United States in the coming year. 

Is Smith's dream house the house of the 
future? Perhaps. Smith said, "Our goal is 
simplicity, and we rejoice in it. The house 
. . . will probably be remembered more for 
what was thrown away than for what was 
put in." DO 

For further information, write to Tom Smith, 
Positive Technology Corporation, P.O. Box 
2356, Olympic Valley, Calif. 95730. 



MALTHUS'S 



CC-N-iNJLDF^OMFW. 7» 



"that the subject will be limited to the iood 
we brought with us. However, you may eat 
whatever you have chosen." 

Phil frowned and reached out a hand 
with fingers properly positioned; a servo 
flashed out of the waif and inserted a 
lighted smokestick in -them. "I can't even 
give him a taste?" 
"Not permitted. I'm very sorry" 
(Shirza, damn it, what kind of briefing-) 
(They were briefed, Herve. Not our fault it 
didn't stick.) 

"That seems pretty unfair," Phil muttered. 
"I. mean, how can I enjoy my treats, if all he 
gets is— I don't know, soyameal, or what- 
ever you've picked. I mean, it's my day. How 
come / don't get to pick the baby's meals?" 
(Shirza!) 

"You can pick your own meals, Citizen 
Jones-Vishinsky, but for medical reasons 
we must see that the subject's diet is care- 
fully monitored." 
"Ya. Thought you said he was A-okay." 
"He is, he is. But he could get very sick if 
everyone just stuffed him with goodies all 
the time. You do see that, don't you? So we 
had to make a rule: diet administered by 
medics only. If we made an exception for 
you, well, we couldn't refuse anybody else, 
either. One treat might not hurt, but treats 
every day . . ." 
Phil pouted. 

"Oh, Phil," Janica said, "don't be such a 
bore. He's right; rules are rules. That's the 
way it always is." (From her vast experience 
of once before.) 

"Oh." He looked unappeased. He 
tousled his thick robin's-egg-blue mane 
and continued to look sulky; then he 
thought of another grievance. "You say— 
hasn't he got a name, anyway? You say he 
won't wake until oh six hundred?" 

Herve directed a burning look of re- 
proach at Shirza, who rolled her eyes sky- 
ward. 

"His name is Johann Meadows-Singh. 
And he will be awakened at aught six 
hundred." 

"Nyaa. How come not until then? How 
come not the whole day? It's my day, isn't it?" 
"Oh, Phil!" Janica exclaimed. "He has to 
sleep just like anybody else, doesn't he? 
We won't lose any more time than anybody 
else." 

"Boredom! Why can't he do like anybody 
else who wants to put off sleeping for a day 
or two? Let him have some no-sleep like I 
use." 

"But he'd have to make it up later, dear. 
just like you do." She moved almost imper- 
ceptibly on the lounge she was curled up 
on, and Herve automatically licked his 
suddenly dry lips. "So it wouldn't be fair, 
dear heart, to make somebody else have 
less, just so -we could have more." She 
stretched-and Herve licked his lips 
again— to walk her fingers up Phil's flung- 
out arm. 



"Don't be a bore, darling. We'll take the 
no-sleep and amuse ourselves . . ." Her fin- 
gers tickled behind his ear. 

"Boredom," Phil muttered again. "Can't 
even see him, for six more whole hours, my 
very own — " 

Herve cleared his throat. 'As for that, if 
you just want to see the subject . . ." 

Phil's frown disappeared. "Yeah, hey, 
now that's real blue of you, Doc. After all, we 
waited all these weeks . . ." 

The medic made some quick adjust- 
ments, and the opaque sides and top of the 
carrier slowly brightened and cleared, until 
its inside was fully revealed. The subject, 
naked except for a simple loincloth, was 
lying on a soft white surface and was at- 
tached to various pieces of equipment. 

Phil gasped. 

Janica drew back, instinctively covering 
her gaping mouth with a trembling hand. 

Phil spoke first. "What— what's the mat- 
ter with him?" 

"Matter?" The doctor's professional 



mOne of the white- 
clad medics spoke. "Stand 
out of our way, 
please. We've a tight 
schedule to 
maintain." They pushed 
past . . . and Phil 
stood staring after them3 



pride was hurt. "Nothing's the matter with 
him, nothing at all. He's a beautiful 'mal- 
gam. A perfect specimen — " 

(Herve, you idiot! They were expecting 
someone older!) 

(Deleted!) 

"This is our very newest 'rnalgam for this 
sector. He was decanted less than six 
months ago. We've accelerated his growth 
somewhat, but—" 

"Why hasn't he got any hair? And why's 
his head so big? And why's he so small? 
And-" 

"I assure you, that's all normal at this 
stage of his development. His hair and the 
rest of his teeth will come later. But our 
surrogates beg for subjects at this devel- 
opment level. Babies they used to be 
called. You can stretch out your hands and 
he'll stagger/toward you on uncertain 
legs-" 

"He can't watt!" 

"Oh, Phil, do you think you were de- 
canted knowing how to walk?" 

"How should I know! You sure he can't 
walk?" 

"Just a little, as I said. Most surrogate 
parents love teaching children to walk." 



"But — but— I was going to take him to 
the park, see, the kid and his old man, 
and— and— you know— pitch a few balls 
around, and maybe take him fishing. We've 
got a beautiful pond right here in the vil- 
lage. Even, if we had time, the old swim- 
ming hole. You know, simple, old-fashioned 
things, like dads did_with their kids in the 
good old days . . ." 

The doctor shook his head. "No, the park 
sounds fine— " 

(Checked out, Shirza'') 

(Need you ask, Herve!) 

" — but you won't be able to fish or swim 
or play ball. But you can play with your 
subject on the grass, have a picnic, show 
him around. The subject likes sweet- 
smelling things, bright colors . . ." 

"The pond, then, Doctor," Janica sug- 
gested. "We have some lovely ornamentals 
in it— Vegan, I think." 

"Vegan? Is the pond seal-topped?" 

"Why, I — I don't know, 1 never stuck. my 
hand in. Just looked. Noticed it in passing." 

(It's sealed, Herve.) 

(Good. Might've known you wouldn't 
miss anything as obvious as that. 1'd've 
hated to tell them no, after the way I built it 
up, but— contamination . . .) 

M-day, 0930. The village park was of 
about average size, with grassy walks, 
bursts of color. Works of art here and there, 
from old-fashioned solid statues (made of 
modern synthetics, though) to the newest 
sight/taste/sound synergies. (Several of 
Janica's light-sculpts were prominently 
displayed.) The pond, with its fluorescent 
Vegan gauzes. Nooks with seating, nooks 
without. Shade trees. A couple of rezball 
courts. The usual. 

The baby was chasing a butterfly. 

Most of the village inhabitants who had 
not been personally invited to join the party 
were out in the park, too, but maintaining a 
polite distance. Most were content simply 
to watch, with far-lenses, but many were 
making holo records, despite the fact that 
the professional holo-porters were hover- 
ing overhead, taking everything down. 

Janica was preening. She was taking 
advantage of the attention and the 'porters 
by running through a whole series of her 
warm-up routines. When that palled, she 
took off her brightly colored halter top and 
dragged it by one tie enticingly near the 
baby. With a crow of triumph, the baby 
staggered toward the brilliant fluttering 
cloth. Laughing, Janica backed up, keep- 
ing the fascination just out of the reach of 
the chubby fingers. 

This gave Phil an idea. "You know," he 
said to the doctor, "if I had a ball and just 
sort of rolled it toward him . . ." 

With a wink, the doctor produced a 
shimmering ball, and Phil, grinning broadly, 
rolled it gently along the grass toward the 
burbling child. 

The child abandoned the top for the ball, 
and Janica pouted, 

A stranger shyly approached her. Her 
smile at him was warmer than usual. 
"Look," his voice was soft, almost a 



whisper, his face beet-red under a too-thin 
amber paint job. "You don't know me, but 
I'm visiting a friend in this village today— " 
(Strictly illegal, but winked at by the securi- 
ty officers, if not overly abused. After all, if 
someone said, "This is my new termhus— 
or termwife— probationary, we haven't got- 
ten around to registering it yet," most sec- 
offs would smile and pass on, after thor- 
oughly checking the newcomer out, o1 
course.) "My name's Ali Pavlov-Lee, and ' 
really hate to ask, but could I take a few 
holos of the kid? i mean, who knows when 
I'll get another chance, "and — " 

He really was very good-looking, and 
Jariica's voice deepened. "You didn't need 
to ask. Plenty of the others are taking holos. 
Just because you aren't a member of this 
village— he may be ours today, but he's 
everybody's baby, all the time. You have the 
same rights as anybody else." A slow smile 
grew over her face. "But it was sweet of you 
to ask to make sure it was all right." 

"Oh." Impossibly, his blush deepened 
even more. "1 know that. Only, see, mytele- 
hoio's broken. I'd have to come close, to be 
close, to get any good shots." 

She pinched his cheek lightly. "Of 
course, sweetie. Take as many as you 
want." A sly sidewise glance. "You can re- 
turn the favor sometime." 

"Thanks. I — you know, he's the first I've 
seen, for real, I mean, up close. I— I really 
appreciate this, I do. I won't forget you— 
your kindness." 



"I hope not," she purred. Then, more 
loudly, "Phil, darling, how about letting Ali 
here get a few close-ups?" 

"Sure thing." He didn't know the guy but 
if he was a friend of Janny's . . . 

Ali took several shots from various an- 
gles, and soon everyone was showing off 
for him, laughing, catching the ball and 
throwing it, playing to make the baby laugh 
(Sylvie was amazingly successful with 
nothing but sticking her tongue out and 
crossing her eyes], all under the eyes of 
their friends, the holos, the professional 
holo-'corders. 

Ali made his move with startling sudden- 
ness. He tossed his camera at Phil, who 
was closest to the baby. As Phil automati- 
cally caught the flying object with both 
hands, Ali swooped down and scooped up 
the chortling child and was off and running. 

"Stop, you fool," Shirza shouted and 
began chasing after him, afraid to use her 
weapons because of the child. "There's no 
piaceyou can go—" 

In seconds a mob was forming in pursuit, 
but Ali had picked his direction shrewdly 
There were no cottages between him and 
open country, and no people, either. 

Except Sylvie, who had wandered away 
to pick a spectacularly luscious tiger- 
striped trumpetbloom for the baby. Syivie 
heard the screams, straightened up, and 
saw the man clasping the baby and head- 
ing almost directly toward her. 

Ali saw the woman rise up out of her little 




depression, out of nowhere it seemed to 
him, and he swerved frantically. 

She screamed and began running to- 
ward him, waving the flower like a banner. 

"Watch out for the baby!" Herve roared. 

Sylvie could never have stopped him, not 
without hurting the baby. But his frantic 
swerve to avoid tier gave Janica her 
chance, Legs flashing, she charged up 
behind him. An impossible leap, and she 
was sailing over his head, every light- 
sculpting-trained muscle acting with per- 
fect precision. As she soared, she flipped, 
too, and her hands darted out. And when 
she landed, lightly, on her feet, just as Syl- 
vie crashed head on into Ali, the baby was 
safely nestled in her arms, 

And it was all over 

Firm hands pulled Sylvie to her feet, and 
she embraced her friend, and just for a 
second she felt in her own arms a soft, dirty, 
crying, smelly baby 

Ali lay where he'd fallen, crying, sur- 
rounded by grim secoffs. "She only wanted 
a baby of her own," he sobbed. 'A day, we 
only had a day. It wasn't enough. She 
wanted a baby of her own. She said she'd 
leave me if I didn't get her a baby of her 
own, her own, a baby of her own . . ." 

(Herve and Shirza exchanged glances 
over his oblivious head. Two for the treat- 
ment center . . .) 

Then Herve took the baby, and Sylvie's 
arms felt strangely empty. 

The rest of M-day was sadly anticlimac- 
tic, after the attempted baby stealing, and 
the whole affair served as a subject for 
conversation and holos, professional and ' 
amateur. Such a heroine Janica was! And 
have you seen her latest sculpture? And 
when newer sensations made memories 
fade, holos got shoved to the back of stor- 
age and were eventually wiped or dis- 
carded. 

Only Syivie could not forget the pow- 
dery-soft skin against her lips, the sweet- 
sour baby scent, the odd feeling that had 
welled up within her when she held the 
baby within the circle of her arms. 

Sometimes, during rest periods, with her 
termhus snoring exhaustedly and satiated- 
ly beside her, she would think about it, but 
her thoughts always went round and round 
in the same circle. 

Babies were only decanted at the POP 
centers, to replace the rare accidental 
deaths, computer-directed recombinant 
amalgams to replace lost genes and tal- 
ents. There was no way she could ever 
produce a baby herself, no way she could 
have a baby of her own. No way . . . 

And sooner or later she'd nudge Ray until 
he roused enough to offer her the only 
anodyne he could. But all too often, after- 
wards, he'd slide back into contented 
slumber, while she lay, unable even to dis- 
tract herself with soloholo lenses, because 
her thoughts stayed in the same groove no 
matter what amusements the soloholo pre- 
sented. 

No way— only decanted at POP cen- 
ters—no way— No way . . . OO 



irUTERV/IEUU 

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 82 

plication in the next decade? 
Sargent: That is a valid point. Yet it is un- 
reasonable to expect rapid progress in a 
field that has had such pitifully small fund- 
ing and has been put on its heels by skep- 
tics who have always demanded results 
rather than theories. I would rather have an 
experiment that was replicated fifty per- 
cent of the time and I knew why it worked 
than one that was ninety-percent replica- 
ble but whose mechanics were a mystery. 
Omni: Nevertheless, fifty years of para- 
psychological research has gone by, and 
most scientists are very disappointed in it. 
Sargent: That isn't actually true. There's a 
survey in the Journal of Parapsychology of 
American scientists' attitudes to parapsy- 
chology in the Thirties and Forties, and 
comparable surveys today show that there 
has been a marked shift since then toward 
acceptance of its validity. People also say 
that it hasn't made much headway, but I'm 
convinced this is actually due to ignorance. 
If you were to pluck out a psychologist at 
random, the odds against his having actu- 
ally seen a copy of the Journal ol Parapsy- 
chology, for instance, would be very sub- 
stantial indeed. 

Omni: That's really my point. If the subject 
is all it's cracked up to be, this ignorance is 
astonishing. Something that really should 



■be part of psychology is steadfastly re- 
jected by psychologists in particular. This 
is so because they are hopelessly preju- 
diced against it or because, on indepen- 
dent inspection, it seems as if there's sim- 
ply nothing in it. 

Sargent: There does seem to be a signifi- 
cant subset of people who are emotionally 
prejudiced against the idea. But let's take 
those who are rational agnostics and say, 
"Maybe there's something there, but at the 
moment I'm not convinced." Two things 
probably concern them. 

One is the lack of a theoretical base for 
the subject. The other— and this is particu- 
larly prevalent among psychologists — is a 
worry about whether the data are reliable or 
merely represent experimental fraud. Why 
should there be so much emphasis on 
fraud? To be blunt, I don't have much hesi- 
tation in saying that the reason why psy- 
chologists are suspicious of parapsychol- 
ogists "fiddling" their experiments is that 
they do it themselves all the time. So they 
think that fudging is as endemic in para- 
psychology as it is in psychology. 
Omni: Since fudging has been raised as 
an issue, let's talk about the scandal a few 
years ago when Dr Walter J. Levy, one of 
the most influential figures in parapsychol- 
ogy, was caught red-handed blatantly fid- 
dling his results. 

Sargent: Yes, that was a bad moment for 
parapsychology, but it wasn't the end of the 
world. We have to distinguish between ac- 




tual instances of fraud and the use of the 
fraud hypothesis to invalidate all the find- 
ings. Parapsychology would be unique if 
no parapsychoiogist ever committed fraud. 
The fact that there is one known instance of 
fraud is not particularly bothering. Take the 
Ganzfeld work— twelve laboratories have 
done repeat studies, and of these, seven 
have gotten significant results. Maybe 
there is a Levy in that seven, but it doesn't 
matter, because the replicability rate will 
still be better than fifty percent. To explain 
away that finding, you'd have to invoke a 
degree of fraud that would be staggering. 
Omni: This highlights again how important 
replicability is. 

Sargent: Yes, it's vital. Without indepen- 
dent replication, all the experiments in the 
world don't add up to anything. It's ihe only 
protection against fraud, experimental er- 
ror, and all that. I once did an experiment in 
which, to the best of my knowledge, I elimi- 
nated any possibility that I could have been 
tampering with the data. It involved sealed 
envelopes, deposited suitcases, witness- 
es, Xerox copies. The whole thing was a 
panorama of paranoia. And we indeed did 
get significant results that replicated the 
results of an earlier experiment. 

Then I presented the data at a confer- 
ence where, to my amazement, the whole 
rigmarole was rejected on the grounds that 
any experimenter who is smart enough to 
think up a foolproof procedure is surely 
smart enough to get around it. In the end 
it's got to be a question of replication. 
Omni: A few parapsychologists argue that 
repeatability isn't all that important. 
Sargent; That's nonsense of course, but 
remember that high repeatability is only 
typical of certain areas of the physical sci- 
ences. It's not characteristic of anything 
but the tiniest areas of human sciences. 
The only areas of psychology that have 
very high replicability are certain areas of 
psychophysics and classical conditioning. 
In both you are dealing with ludicrously 
oversimplified environments. 

You say parapsychology has been in ac- 
tion for fifty years and hasn't achieved 
much. That may be true. But experimental 
psychology has been going for about a 
hundred years, and what has it achieved? 
One of my lecturers at Cambridge, in a 
debate, challenged the audience to list the 
real achievements of psychology. There 
was a pause of about a minute before 
somebody came out with something. 

Sorry to keep sniping at psychology, but 
my argument is that the only realistic data 
base against which to examine the 
achievements of parapsychology is psy- 
chology. Remember the sheer complexity 
of one's subject matter in both cases. 
Human beings are phenomenally complex 
systems. When physics starts playing 
around with complex systems, it soon gets 
into trouble. Faced with a really complex 
problem, people with billions of dollars and 
years of specialized research behind them 
are capable of spectacular failure. 
Omni: One other factor that prevents many 



hard scientists from taking the subject seri- 
ously is the wayin which the field some- 
times goes into crazes about sensationalis- 
ts developments, such as the recent flap 
about Uri Geller. Here's Geller claiming to 
bend spoons with his mind or to teleport his 
camera to the moon. Anyone who knows 
anything about parapsychology realizes 
that Geller simply reeks of trickery Yet he 
precipitated a huge wave of enthusiasm 
throughout parapsychology. When it all 
turned to nothing, it left many parapsychol- 
ogists with egg on their face. 
Sargent: This may sound like ducking the 
issue, but I actually have a minimal interest 
in that kind of thing. I've never been inter- 
ested in working with individuals, only with 
groups of people. So I can make general- 
izations about populations. I would be en- 
couraged if I felt that Geller-type phenom- 
ena induced other people to start looking 
into parapsychology, but I'm quite sure they 
have the opposite effect. With the whole 
Geller episode, so much drivel was written 
at second- and thirdhand, pro and con, that 
it is very hard to get at what has really been 
going on there. 

My feeling, for what it is worth, is that 
Geller is definitely a fake. It seems to me 
that there are enough documented in- 
stances of definite trickery tor us to be able 
to say this. Whether he's anything more 
than that, I don't know. But of course one 
does get annoyed when that stuff is 
splashed about to the exclusion of sounder, 



better-based, and more reputable work. I 
think that serious parapsychologists, as a 
body, never took Geller to heart. 
Omni: The cautious, guarded picture you 
paint of the topic is very different from the 
one the public sees in the media, As the 
public sees it, everything is totally sewn up, 
with an endless stream of sensational ex- 
periments and equally dramatic results 
occurring all the time. 
Sargent: I'm very skeptical, -but I studi- 
ously avoid any connection with these un- 
salubrious characters in the military field. 
As for the so-called Russian effort, well, the 
first thing to say is that there is virtually no 
Soviet parapsychology reporting that is 
worth even acursory glance. Parapsychol- 
ogy is treated oddly by the Soviet hierarchy, 
who try to pass it off as lots of different 
sciences. In any case, such stuff as is pub- 
lished appears to take place selectively in 
low-level magazines, where the data are 
never presented in sufficient detail. I've 
known visitors to the USSR who have come 
back and said that talk of big Soviet re- 
search is all baloney. As for the popular 
books on the subject published in the West, 
they're purely sensationalist, written by 
journalists who sincerely want to be rich. 
Omni: I think people would like to know 
whether there is any hope that anything will 
happen in the reasonably near future to 
remove the skepticism of parapsychology 
out of the areas ofdispute and skepticism. 
Sargent: It depends on who and what you 



are concerned with. Parapsychology has 

always enjoyed a tremendous level of gen- 
eral public support. The priority for the field 
now is to increase scientific acceptance. 
Only in that way is the subject going to get 
adequate funding and draw in high-caliber 
people who aren't thinking, "This is finan- 
cial and academic suicide." I don't think 
that the practical, pragmatic aspect of the 
subject, which is the angle you seem to be 
stressing, is the key factor as far as the 
scientific community is concerned. They're 
more likely to be swayed by improvements 
in repeatability of the kind we have been 
slowly seeing over the last twenty years. I 
believe there is also going to be increasing 
theoretical sophistication. Parapsycholo- 
gists will be able to sit down and say that 
they have models of what is going on when 
ESP takes place, that they have tested the 
assumptions of the models, and so on. 

I would also hope for increasing interdis- 
ciplinary links, particularly with psychol- 
ogy, and even with things like 
neurophysiology. Neurophysiology may be 
looking a bit far ahead. Better acceptance 
in academic psychology would be enough. 
The greatest breakthrough of all both for 
scientific acceptance and in terms of at- 
tracting proper research funding would 
occur if a couple of top psychologists fi- 
nally stepped forward and said, "Fair 
enough, you've made your case, We'll 
stake our reputations on it. Furthermore, 
we're going to work in it." OQ 




ALIENS 



CONTINUED FROM PAGE 86 

gress declares war on the visitor's home 
planet, there is another little-known sub- 
class of aliens in international law called 
friendly enemies. One jurist explains, "A 
belligerent state is free to exempt enemy 
nationals from the treatment applied to 
persons vested with enemy character" 

The immigration technicalities can be 
circumvented by classifying an ET as an 
essential alien. According to law, with the 
concurrence of the attorney general, the 
CIA director and the commissioner of im- 
migration, any alien deemed "essential to 
the furtherance ot the national intelligence 
mission" or otherwise vita! to the interests ot 
national security may be admitted for per- 
manent residence regardless of regular 
admission procedures. Since any nation on 
Earth in possession of an extraterrestrial 
being and its fancy hardware could gain a 
significant military, technological, or eco- 
nomic jump on the others, the essential- 
alien dodge is certainly within the realm of 
possibility. 

There are even easier ways to avoid the 
immigration laws. The creature might be 
considered an alien crewman (serving 
aboard a foreign vessel) or an alien in tran- 
sit. Both would be exempt because their 
stay in this country would be only tempo- 
rary Similarly, if a space visitor entered the 
United States for "business or pleasure" or 
as a "bona fide student, scholar, specialist, 
or leader in a field of specialized knowl- 
edge or skill," it would be considered a 
visiting alien and thus be exempt from im- 
migration laws. 

Of course, the President could simply 
grant an ET ambassadorial status. As a full 
diplomat, the extraterrestrial would serve 
as the representative of its own government 
during its stay on Earth and would enjoy full 
immunity from prosecution in American 
courts. Or the creature might be deemed a 
consul, merely a commercial agent for its 
government and entitled to fewer im- 
munities. 

Normally there must be diplomatic reci- 
procity before a foreign envoy of any kind is 
given ambassadorial rank. However, con- 
stitutionally, the Chief Executive of the 
United States is our sole representative in 
dealings with foreign nations. Neither Con- 
gress nor the judiciary can complain if the 
President unilaterally makes the decision to 
recognize an ET and its government. 

Yet another option is open, this time to 
Congress. The naturalization clause of the 
U.S. Constitution expressly authorizes the 
federal legislature to prescribe rules by 
which aliens may secure full citizenship. 
There is nothing to prevent a grant of Amer- 
ican citizenship to named persons by spe- 
cial act. For instance, Congress passed in 
1963 one such' bill, which directed the Pres- 
ident to declare Sir Winston Churchill an 
honorary citizen of the United States. This 
approach bypasses the usual require- 

108 OMNI 



ments of naturalization; so an ET could re- 
tain its native extraterrestrial nationality, a 
rather unique sort of dual citizenship. 

If beings from other worlds come to live 
among us in greater numbers and on a 
more permanent basis, the legal "quick 
fixes" we've been discussing may prove 
wholly inadequate. Congress undoubtedly 
will be forced to take the next major juridical 
step: create a special legal classification 
called extraterrestrial persons that would 
define their rights and duties in American 
society Many of our laws may have to be 
thoroughly revamped to accommodate the 
complex relations inherent in any multi- 
species sentient population, 

THE CODE OF XENORABI 

Consider, once again, the criminal law. In 
order to emphasize the illegality of killing 
and to provide special punishments in 
specific cases, lawmakers should define 
the crime of xenocide— the slaying of an 
extraterrestrial person by any other legal 



4A crime for telepathic 
extraterrestrials 
is telerape, the unlawful mind- 
reading of 
■ human sexual partners, 
without their 
consent, during the course 
of coitus. 3 



person. Xenocide could be committed with 
or without malice, intentionally, negligently, 
or accidentally. If an ET possesses no per- 
sonal consciousness but is part of a group 
mind that is deemed, collectively, to be an 
extraterrestrial person, then killing any in- 
dividual member of the association might 
be termed semicide. Like mayhem, the 
criminal act is directed only to a part of the 
person's substance and not to the whole. 

Legislators will probably want to invoke 
legal sanctions against those who engage 
in interspecies sexual relations. Humans 
are already covered by felony sodomy 
statutes; the equivalent offense for sentient 
nonhumans could be called anthroposex- 
us — unlawful sexual activity with human 
beings. More specific sanctions of this of- 
fense against public decency are likely to 
be passed by state senators and assem- 
blymen. There may be classifications, such 
as prostitutional anthroposexus, forcible 
anthroposexus, adulterous anthroposexus, 
and anthroposexus by seduction, each 
with its own sel of proscriptions and pecu- 
liar penalties. 

Laws may also be passed to prohibit 
xenogamy, the marriage between a human 



and a sentient nonhuman being of the op- 
posite, similar, or complementary sex. 
These rules will be closely modeled after 
the old miscegenation statutes, which the 
Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in 
Loving v. Commonwealth of Virginia (1967). 
(This decision cannot invalidate xenogamy 
statutes, since species, unlike race, has 
never been ruled a "suspect classification" 
under the equal protection clause of the 
Fourteenth Amendment.) 

Entirely new criminal codes might have 
to be enacted for situations beyond the 
pale of normal human experience. For in- 
stance, for a race of sentient limb- 
regenerative amphibians, nibbling the 
body of an acquaintance may be a sign of 
greeting and approval, much as the human 
handshake is. All parts quickly grow back, 
and no real permanent damage is done; 
the bigger the bite, the deeper the friend- 
ship. Human beings, unable to regenerate 
nibbled limbs, would regard the behavior 
as criminal (petit cannibalism) when prac- 
ticed on people. 

Innumerable possibilities may readily be 
imagined. Involuntary vility could be the 
crime of exposing one's true, uncamou- 
flaged physical appearance in public, if 
that appearance is so shockingly ugly as to 
cause hysteria among human onlookers. A 
crime for telepathic ETs would be telerape, 
the unlawful thought-reading of the mind ol 
one or both partners of a human couple, 
without their consent, while they are having 
sex. 
OTHERWORLDLY DEFENSES ' 

Naturally, all charges ot criminal culpabil- 
ity are subject to defenses that may be 
raised to relieve an extraterrestrial of liabil- 
ity for Its acts. One recourse for harried 
defense attorneys would be to assert lack 
of capacity on the part of the ET A plea ot 
insanity is the most common variant. Under 
the traditional M'Naghten Rule, criminal 
acts committed by an extraterrestrial could 
be excused if the ET was unable to under- 
stand the nature of its act or, it it knew what it 
was doing, lacked the capacity to distin- 
guish whether its act was right or wrong. 
Lack of capacity might also be proved by 
evidence of mental immaturity, infancy, or 
feeblemindedness, the intelligence or the 
psychosocial development of the alien 
being comparatively below the human 
adult norm, at the time the crime was com- 
mitted. 

Another limitation on criminal prosecu- 
tions is that an accused cannot be tried for 
acts that were not criminal when they were 
committed. If a human, to take a simple 
example, killed an alien in ajurisdiction that 
had not yet ruled the ET a "person" at the 
time of the offense, then the application of 
any criminal law that spoke only of "per- 
sons" would be prohibited under the U.S. 
Constitution (Article I, Section 9). 

One highly unorthodox alternative would 
be the assertion of sociobiology as a 
defense in criminal prosecutions. Such a 
"sociobiology doctrine" could expunge all 



liability for acts committed as a direct con- 
sequence of biologically predetermined 
behavioral patterns in specific situations. 

Under the doctrine, intelligent trisexual 
extraterrestrials (requiring three distinct 
sexes for reproduction) would be excused 
of the crime of bigamy or polygamy. A sen- 
tient praying mantoid that, during normal 
intercourse, bit off the head of a careless 
human zoologist-observer, instead of the 
torso of her mindless mate, could raise 
"protein hunger" as a valid defense to the 
crime of homicide. ETs modeled after the 
common mole Antichinus stuarti, among 
which copulation causes the females to re- 
lease hormones that kill the male shortly 
thereafter, might use the doctrine to es- 
cape prosecution for murder. Extraterres- 
trials having the same compulsion to steal 
as the Ad^lie penguins of Antarctica might 
be excused of the crime of petty larceny 

It is not clear whether courts would buy 
the sociobiology doctrine. Claims of com- 
pulsion and coercion generally are no de- 
fense when the compulsion derives from 
some natural characteristic of the defen- 
dant. Courts have thus far rejected insanity 
pleas based on the XYY-chromosome de- 
fect (the extra Y supposedly causes a 
higher probability of antisocial behavior), 
but there is strong evidence that the 
judiciary would accept this defense if there 
existed rigorous scientific proof tying the 
genetic defect to insanity. 

Before the case went to trial, however. 



there would be two additional complica- 
tions that would have to be considered. 

First, an accused ET could not be tried, 
sentenced, or punished unless it was 
"presently sane." If it could not understand 
the nature and purpose of the proceedings 
against it, the creature might be judged 
incapable of standing trial and be commit- 
ted to a mental institution until it is capable. 
If it were determined that the alien would 
not achieve competency in the near future. 
then the authorities would have to either 
release the accused or institute permanent 
commitment proceedings. 

Second, the Sixth and the Fourteenth 
amendments require an "impartial jury" 
both in federal and in state criminal prose- 
cutions. Generally, jurors must be chosen 
from representative cross sections of the 
community. Exclusions on the basis of race, 
national origin, or descent are unconstitu- 
tional. If at least one juror of the ET's own 
species were not empaneled, any convic- 
tion resulting from the trial could later be 
overturned on this basis. 

After the extraterrestrial was declared 
guilty as charged, appropriate punishment 
would be handed down from the bench. 
The notion that the alien nature of the de- 
fendant should be taken into account leads 
to the concept of pro rata sentencing. ETs 
with shorter life spans or whose subjective 
time passes measurably faster than our 
own should be given shorter prison terms, 
and vice versa. 



Life-fractions might be an appropriate 
unit of punishment. For instance, the sen- 
tence for voluntary manslaughter is usually 
ten years, a life- fraction of about 14 percent 
for human beings who live to age seventy. 
By this measure, an alien creature guilty of 
the same crime but with a normal life span 
of seven years should receive only a single 
year of incarceration. But ETs with 700-year 
life spans should be locked up for a century 
or more. 

Stiffer sentences might be appropriate 
for xenocidal acts committed against 
longer-lived or more highly intelligent or 
sensitive species. All else equal, killing a 
millennial sentient may deserve ten times 
as much punishment as an act resulting in 
the death of a mere centennial human, With 
crimes of kidnapping or false imprison- 
ment, however, punishment should be in- 
creasingly severe when more ephemeral 
victims are inconvenienced, since a 
greater percentage of total life time has 
been disrupted through the investigation of 
a criminal act. 

The silvery disc murmurs softly its dis- 
appointment and glows a faint warning of 
orange-red luminescence around its 
perimeter. The fallen humanoid briefly 
sparkles, then vanishes, A hushed crowd 
falls back as the extraterrestrial machine 
rises majestically Its masters will not return 
soon, for they have learned that illegal 
aliens aren't safe on planet Earth, 

At least, not yet. DO 




BEAST 



wrapped it around her. "My Captain, 
someday I want one like this." 

"I'll skin the minks personally." I prom- 
ised her. 

Deety started to shrug the cape off. "Too 
hot, lovely as it feels." She stopped with the 
cape oft her shoulders, suddenly pulled it 
around her again. "Who's coming up the 
hill?" 

I looked up, saw that Jake and Hilda had 
reached the pool— and a figure was ap- 
pearing from below, beyond the boulder 
that dammed it. 

"I don't know. Stay behind me." I hurried 
' toward the pool. 

The stranger was dressed as a federal 
ranger. As I closed in. I heard the stranger 
say to Jake. "Are you Jacob Burroughs?" 

"Why do you ask?" 

"Are you or aren't you? If you are. I have 
business with you. If you're not, you're 
trespassing. Federal land, restricted ac- 
cess." 

"Jake!" I called out. "Who is he?" 

The newcomer turned his head. "Who 
are you?" 

"Wrong sequence." I told him. "You 
haven't identified yourself." 

"Don't be funny," the stranger said. "You 
know this uniform. I'm Bennie Hibol, the 
ranger hereabouts." 

I answered most carefully. "Mr. Highball. 
you are a man in a uniform, wearing a gun 
belt and a shield. That doesn't make you a 
federal officer. Show your credentials and 
state your business." 

The uniformed character sighed. "I got 
no time to listen to smart talk." He rested his 
hand on the butt of his gun. "If one of you is 
Burroughs, speak up. I'm going to search 
this site and cabin. There's stuff coming up 
from Sonora; this sure as hell is the transfer 
point." 

Deety suddenly came- out from behind 
me, moved quickly, and placed herself be- 
side her father. "Where's your search war- 
rant? Show your authority!" She had the 
cape clutched around her; her face quiv- 
ered with indignation. 

"Another joker!" This clown snapped 
open his holster. "Federal land— here's my 
authority!" 

Deety suddenly dropped the cape, 
stood naked in front of him. I drew, lunged, 
and cut down in one motion — slashed the 
wrist, recovered, thrust upward from low 
line into the belly above the gun belt 

As my point entered, Jake's saber cut 
the side of the neck almost to decapitation. 
Our target collapsed like a puppet with cut 
strings, lay by the pool, bleeding from three 
wounds. 

"Zebadiah, I'm sorry!" 

"About what, Princess?" I asked as I 
wiped my blade on the alleged ranger's 
uniform. I noticedthe color of the blood with 
distaste. 

"He didn't react! I thought my strip act 



would give you more time." 

"You did distract him." I reassured her. 
"He watched you and didn't watch me. 
Jake- what kind of a creature has blue- 
green blood?" 

"I don't know." 

Sharpie came forward, squatted down, 
dabbed a linger in the blood, sniffed it. 
"Hemocyanin. I think," she said calmly. 
"Deety, you were right. Alien. The largest 
terrestrial fauna with that method of "oxygen 
transport is a lobster. But this thing is no 
lobster; it's a Black Hat. How did you 
know?" 

"I didn't. But, he didn't sound right. 
Rangers are polite. And they never fuss 
about showing their I.D.s." 

"I didn't know," I admitted. "I wasn't sus- 
picious, just annoyed." 

"You moved mighty fast," Jake ap- 
proved. 

"I never know why till it's over. You didn't 
waste time yourself, tovarich. Drawing 
saber while he was pulling a gun— that 
takes guts and speed. But let's not talk 
now. Where are his pals? We may be 
picked off getting back to the house." 

"Look at his pants," Hilda suggested. 
"He hasn't been on horseback. Hasn't 
climbed far. either. Jacob, is there a jeep 
trail?" 

"No. This isn't accessible by jeep, just 
barely by horse." 

"Hasn't been anything overhead," I 
added. "No chopper, no air car." 

"Continua craft." said Deety. 

"Huh?" 

"Zebadiah, the Black Hats are aliens 
who don't want Pop to build a time-space 
machine. We know that. So it follows that 
they have continua craft. Q.E.D." 

I thought about it. "Deety, I'm going to 
bring you breakfast in bed. Jake, how do 
we spot an alien continua craft? It doesn't 
have to look like Gay Deceiver." 

Jake frowned. "No. Any shape. But a 
one-passenger craft might not be much 
larger than a phone booth." 

"If it's a one-man — one-alien— job, it 
should be parked down in that scrub," I 
said, pointing. "We can find it," 

"Zebadiah," protested Deety, "we don't 
have time to search. We ought to get out of 
here! Fas(.'" 

Jake said, "My daughter is right, but not 
for that reason. Its cratt is not necessarily 
waiting. It could be parked an infinitesimal 
interval away along any of six axes and 
return either automatically, prepro- 
grammed, or by some method of signaling 
that we can postulate but not describe. The 
alien craft would not be here-now but will 
be here-later. For pickup." 

"In that case, Jake, you and I and the 
gals should scram out of here-now to 
there-then. Be missing. How long has our 
pressure test been running? What time is 
it?" 

"Seventeen-seventeen." Deety an- 
swered instantly. 

I looked at my wife, "Naked as a frog. 
Where do you hide your watch, dearest? 



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Surely not these." 

She stuck out her tongue. "Smariy. I 
have a clock in my head. I never mention it 
because people give me funny looks." 

"Deety does have an innate time sense," 
agreed her father, "accurate to thirteen 
seconds plus or minus about iour seconds; 
I've measured it." 

"I'm sorry, Zebadiah, I don't mean to be 
a freak." 

"Sorry about what, Princess? I'm im- 
pressed. What do you do about time 
zones?" 

"Same as you do. Add or subtract as 
necessary. Darling, everyone has a built-in 
circadian. Mine is merely more nearly 
exact than most people's. Like having ab- 
solute pitch — some do, some don't." 

"Are you a lightning calculator?" 

"Yes, but computers are so much faster 
that I no longer do it much. Except for one 
thing. I can sense a glitch— spot a wrong 
answer. Then I look for garbage in the pro- 
gram. If I don't find it, I send for a hardware 
specialist. Look, sweetheart, discuss my 
oddities later. Pop, let's dump that thing 
down the septic tank and go. I' 



"Not so fast, Deety," Hilda was still 
squatting by the corpse. "Zebbie. Consult 
your hunches. Are we in danger?" 

"Well, not this instant." 

"Good, I want to dissect this creature." 

"Aunt Hilda!" 

"Take a Miltown, Deety. Gentlemen, the 



Bible, or somebody, said, 'Know thine 
enemy.' This is the only Black Hat we've 
seen, and he's not human and not born on 
Earth. There is a wealth of knowledge lying 
here, and it ought not to be shoved down a 
septic tank until we know more about it. 
Jacob, feel this," 

■ Hilda's husband got down on his knees, 
let her guide his hand through the "rang- 
er's hair. "Feel those bumps, dearest?" 

"Yes!" 

"Much like the budding horns of a lamb, 
are they not?" 

"Oh — 'And I beheld another beast com- 
ing up out of the earth; and he had two 
horns like a lamb, and he spake as a drag- 
on'!" 

I squatted down, felt for horn buds. "Be 
damned! He did come up out of the 
earth — up this slope anyhow — and he 
spake as a dragon. Talked unfriendly, and 
all the dragons I've ever heard of talked 
mean or belched fire. Hilda, when you 
field-strip this critter, keep an eye out for 
the Number of the Beast." 

"I shall! Who's going to help me get this 
specimen up to the house? I want three 
volunteers." 

Deety gave a deep sigh. "I volunteer. 
Aunt Hilda, must you do this?" 

"Deety, it ought to be done at Johns 
Hopkins, with X ray and proper tools and 
color holovision. But I'm the best biologist 
for it because I'm the only biologist. Honey 
child, you don't have to watch. Aunt Sharp- 



ie has helped in an emergency room after a 
five-car crash; tome, bloodisjustamessto 
clean up. Even green blood doesn't bother 
me that much." 

Deety gulped. "I'll help carry. I said I 
would!" 

"Dejah Thoris!" 

"Sir? Yes, my Captain?" 

"Back away from that. Take this. And 
this." 

I unbuckled sword and belt, shoved 
down my swimming briefs, handed all of it 
to Deety, "Jake, help me get him up into 
fireman's carry." 

"I'll help carry, son." 

"No, I can tote him easier than two could. 
Sharpie, where do you want to work?" 

"Hilda my dear one, what would you say 
to a workbench in the garage with a drop 
cloth on it and floodlights over it?" 

"I'd say, 'Swell!' " 

Zeb 

I felt better after I got that "ranger" 's 
corpse dumped and the garage door 
closed, everyone indoors. I had told Hilda 
that I felt no "immediate" danger, but my 
wild talent does not warn me until the mo- 
ment of truth. The Blokes in Black Hats had 
us located, or possibly had never lost us; 
what applies to human gangsters has little 
to do with aliens whose powers and mo- 
tives and plans we had noway of guessing. 

We might be as naive as a kitten who 
thinks he is hidden because his head is, 
unaware that his little rump sticks out. 

They were alien, they were powerful, 
they were multiple— three thousand? three ' 
million? We didn't know the Number of the 
Beast. And they knew where we were. 
True, we had killed one— by luck, not by 
planning. That "ranger" would be missed; 
we could expect more to call in force. 

Foolhardiness has never appealed to 
me. Given a chance to run, I run, I don't 
mean I'll bug out on wing mate when the 
unfriendlies show up, and certainly not on a 
wife and an unborn child. But I wanted us 
ail to run — me, my wife, my blood brother 
who was also my father-in-law, and his 
wife, my chum Sharpie, who was brave, 
practical, smart, and unsqueamish. That 
she would joke in the jaws of Moloch was 
not a fault but a source of esprit. 

I wanted us to go! rau axis, ten axis, 
rotate, translate, whatever — anywhere not 
infested by gruesomes with green gore. 

I checked the gauge and felt better; 
Gay's inner pressure had not dropped. Too 
much to expect Gay to be a spaceship— 
not equipped to scavenge and replenish 
air. But it was pleasant to know that she 
would hold pressure much longer than it 
would take us to scram for home if we had 
to— assuming that unfriendlies had not 
shot holes in her graceful shell. 

The "ranger" was on its back with 
clothes cut away, open from chin to crotch, 
and spread. Nameless chunks of gizzard 
were here and there around the cadaver. It 
gave off a fetid odor. 

Hilda was still carving, ice tongs in left 



hand, knife in her right, greenish goo up 
over her wrists. As I approached she put 
down the Knife, picked up a razor blade. 
did not look up until I spoke. "Learning 
things, Sharpie?" 

She put down her tools, wiped her hands 
on a towel, pushed back her hair with her 
forearm. "Zebbie. you wouldn't believe it." 
"Try me," 

"Well, look at this." She touched the 
corpse's right leg and spoke to the corpse 
itself. "What's a nice joint like this doing in a 
girl like you?" 

I saw what she meant: a long, gaunt leg 
with an extra knee lower than the human 
• knee; it bent backwards. Looking higher, I 
saw that its arms had similar extra articula- 
tion. "Did you say girl?" 

"I said girl. Zebbie. this monster is either 
female or hermaphroditic. A fully devel- 
oped uterus, two-horned like a cat's, an 
ovary above each horn. But there appear to 
be testes lower down and a dingus that 
may be a retractable phallus. Female, but 
probably male as well. Bisexual, but does 
not impregnate itself; the plumbing 
wouldn't hook up. I think these critters can 
both pitch and catch." 
"Taking turns? Or simultaneously?" 
"Wouldn't that be sump'n? No, for me- 
chanical reasons I think they take furns, 
Whether ten minutes apart or ten years, 
deponent sayeth not. But I'd give a pretty to 
see two of 'em going at it!" 
"Sharpie, you've got a one-track mind." 
"It's the main track. Reproduction is the 
main track; the methods and mores of 
copulation are the central features of all 
higher developments of life." 
"You're ignoring money and television." 
"Piffle! All human activities, including 
scientific research, are either mating 
dances and care of the young or dismal 
sublimations of born losers in the only 
game in town. Don't try to kid Sharpie. Took, 
me forty-two years to grab a real man and 
get myself knocked up, but I made it! Ev- 
erything I've done up to the last two weeks 
has been 'vamp till ready.' How about you, 
you shameless stud? Am I not right? Care- 
ful how you answer; I'll tell Deety." 
"I'll take the Fifth." 

"Make mine a quart. Zebbie, I bate these 
monsters; they interfere with my plans: a 
rose-covered cottage, a baby in the crib, a 
pot roast in the oven, me in a gingham 
dress, and my man coming down the lane 
after a hard day flunking freshmen — me 
with his slippers and his pipe and a dry 
martini waiting for him. Heaven! All else is 
vanity and vexation. Four fully developed 
mammary glands but lacking the redun- 
dant fat characteristic of the human fe- 
male— 'cept me, damn it. A double 
stomach, a single intestine. A two-com- 
partment heart that seems to pump by 
peristalsis rather than by beating. Cordate. 
I haven't examined the brain, but it must be 
as well developed as ours is. Definitely 
humanoicf outrageously nonhuman. Don't 
knock over those bottles; they are speci- 
mens of body fluids." 




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"What are these things?" 

"Splints to conceal the unhuman articu- 
lation. Plastic surgery on the face, too, I'm 
pretty sure, and cheaters to reshape ihe 
skull. The hair is fake; these Boojums don't 
have hair. Something like tattooing — or 
maybe masking I haven't been able to peel 
off — to make the face and other exposed 
skin look human instead of blue-green. 
Zeb, seven to two, a large number of miss- 
ing persons have been used as 'guinea 
pigs before these creatures worked out 
methods for this masquerade. Swoop! A 
flying saucer dips down, and two more 
guinea pigs wind up in their laboratories." 

"There hasn't been a Hying saucer scare 
in years." 

"Poetic license, dear. If they have 
space-time twisters, they can pop up any- 
where, steal what they want, or replace a 
real human with a convincing fake, and be 
gone in the time it takes to switch off a 
light." 

"This one couldn't get by very long. 
Rangers have to take physical exami- 
nations." 

"This one may be a rush job, prepared 
just for us. A permanent substitution might 
fool anything but an X ray, and might even 
fool an X ray if the doctor giving the exam- 
ination was one of Them— a theory you 
might think about. Zebbie, I must get to 
work. There is so much to learn and so little 
lime. I can't learn a fraction of what this 
carcass could tell a real comparative 
biologist." 

"Can I help?" I was not anxious to. 

"Well — 1 

"I haven't much to do until Jake' and 
Deety finish assembling the last of whal 
they are going to take. So what can I do to 
help?" 

"I could work twice as fast if you would 
take pictures. I have to stop to wipe my 
hands before I touch ihe camera." 

"I'm your boy, Sharpie. Just say what 
angle, distance, and when." 

Hilda looked relieved. "Zebbie. have I 
told you that I love you despite your gorilla 
appearance and idiot grin? Underneath, 
you have the soul of a cherub. I want a bath 
so badly I can taste it — could be the last 
hot bath in a long time. And the bidet— the 
acme of civilized decadence. I've been 
afraid I would still be carving strange meat 
when Jacob said it was time to leave." 

"Carve away, dear; you'll get your bath." 
I picked up the camera, the one Jake used 
for record keeping: a Polaroid Stereo- 
Instamatic — self -foe using, automatic iris- 
ing. automatic processing — the perfect 
camera for the engineer or scientist who 
needs a running record. 

I took endless pictures while Hilda 
sweated away. "Sharpie, doesn't it worry 
you to work with bare hands? You might 
catch the Never-Get-Overs." 

"Zebbie, if these critters could be killed 
by our bugs, they would have arrived here 
and died quickly. They didn't. Therefore it 
seems likely that, we can't be hurt by their 
bugs. Radically different biochemistries." 



It sounded logical, but I could not forget 
Kettering's law; "Logic is an organized way 
of going wrong with confidence." 

Deety appeared and set down a loaded 
hamper. "That's the last." She had her hair 
up in a bath knot and was dressed solely in 
rubber gloves. "Hi. dearest. Aunt Hilda, I'm 
ready to help." 

"Not much you can do, Deety hon — 
unless you want to relieve Zebbie." 

Deety was staring at the corpse and did 
not look happy — her nipples were down 
flat. "Go take a bath!" I told her. "Scram." 

"Do I stink that badly?" 

"You stink swell, honey. But Sharpie 
pointed out that this may be our last chance 
at soap and water in a while. I've promised 
her that we won't leave for Canopus and 
points east until she has had her bath. So 
gei yours out of the way, and then you can 
help me stow while she gets sanitary." 

Hilda 

By the time I was out of my bath. Jacob, 
Deety, and Zebbie had Gay Deceiver 
stowed and lists checked: can opener, 
cameras, and so on — even samples of 
fluids and tissues from the cadaver, as 
Zebbie's miracle car had a small refriger- 
ator. Deety wasn't happy about my speci- 
mens being in ihe refrigerator, but they 
were very well packed, layer on layer of 
plastic wrap, then sealed into a freezer 
box. Besides, that refrigerator contained 
mostly camera film, dynamite caps, and 
other noneatables. Food was mostly 
freeze-dried and sealed in nitrogen, ex- 
cept foods that wouldn't spoil. 

We were dog tired. Jacob moved that we 
sleep, then leave. "Zeb, unless you expect 
a new attack in the nexl eight hours, we 
should rest. I need to be clearheaded in 
handling verniers. This house is almost a 
fortress, will be pitch-black, and does not 
radiate any part of the spectrum. They may 
conclude that we ran for it right after we got 
their boy — hermaphrodite. I mean; the fake 
ranger— what do you think?" 

"Jake, 1 wouldn't have been surprised 
had we been clobbered at any moment. 
Since they didn't — Well, I don't like to han- 
dle Gay when I'm not sharp. More mistakes 
are made in battle because of fatigue than 
any other cause. Let's sack in. Anybody 
need a sleeping pill?" 

"All I need is a bed. Hilda my love, to- 
night I sleep on my own side." 

1 shrugged. "You men have to pilot; 
Deety and I are cargo. We can nap in the 
backseats. If we miss a few universes, what 
of it? If you've seen one universe, you've 
seen 'em all. Deety?" 

"If it were up to me, I would lam out of 
here so fast my shoes would be left stand- 
ing. But Zebadiah has to pilot, and Pop has 
to set verniers, and both are tired and don't 
want to chance it. So, Zebadiah, don't fret if 
I rest with my eyes and ears open." 

"Huh? Deety, why?" 

"Somebody ought to be on watch. It 
might give us that split-second advan- 
tage — split seconds have saved us at least 



twice. Don't worry, darling. I often skip a 
night to work a long program under shared 
time. Doesn't hurt me; a nap the next day, 
and I'm ready to bite rattlesnakes. Tell him. 
Pop." 

"That's correct, Zeb, but — " 

Zebbie cut him off. "Maybe you gals can 
split watches and have breakfast ready. 
Right now I've got to hook up Gay Deceiver 
so that she can reach me in our bedroom. 
Deety, I can add a program so that she can 
listen around the cabin, too. Properly pro- 
grammed, Gay's the best watchdog of any 
of us. Will that satisfy you duty-struck little 
broads?" 

Deety said nothing; so I kept quiet. Zeb- 
bie, frowning, turned back to his car, 
opened a door, and prepared to hook 
Gay's voice and ears to the three house 
intercoms. "Want to shift the basement 
talky-talk to your bedroom, Jake?" 

"Good idea," Jacob agreed. 

"Wait a half while I ask Gay what she has. 
Hello, Gay." 

"Howdy, Zeb. Wipe your chin." 

"Program, Gay. Add running news re- 
trieval. Area: Arizona strip north of Grand 
Canyon plus Utah. Persons: all persons 
listed in current running news-retrieval 
programs plus rangers, federal rangers, 
forest rangers, park rangers, state rangers. 
End of added program." 

"New program running. Boss." 

"Program. Add running acoustic report, 
maximum gain." 



"New program running, Zeb." 

"You're a smart girl. Gay." 

"Isn't it time you married me?" 

"Good night. Gay." 

"Running news retrieval. Boss." 

"Report!" 

"Straits Times, Singapore (Reuters). 
Tragic News of Marston Expedition. In- 
donesian News Service, Palembang. Two 
bodies identified as Dr. Cecil Yang and Dr. 
Z. Edward Carter were brought by jungle 
buggy to National Militia Headquarters. 
Telukbetung. The district commandant 
stated that they will be transferred by air to 
Palembang for further transport to Singa- 
pore when the commandant in chief re- 
leases them to the minister for Tourism and 
Culture. The whereabouts of Professor 
Marston and Mr. Smythe-Belisha are still 
unknown. Commandants of both districts 
concede that hopes of finding them aiive 
have diminished. However, a spokesman 
for the minister of Tourism and Culture as- 
sured a press conference that the Indone- 
sian government would pursue the search 
more assiduously than ever." 

Zebbie whistled tunelessly. Finally, he 
said, "Opinions, anyone?" 

"He was a brilliant man, son," my hus- 
band said soberiy. "An irreplaceable loss. 
Tragic." 

"Ed was a good Joe, Jake. But that's not 
what I mean. Our tactical situation, Now. 
Here." 

My husband paused before answering. 



"Zeb, whatever happened in Sumatra ap- 
parently happened about a month ago. 
Emotionally I feel great turmoil. Logically I 
am forced to state that I cannot see that our 
situation has changed." 

"Hilda? Deety?" 

"News retrieval report." announced Gay. 

"Report!" 

"San Francisco (AP). Via satellite from 
Saipan, Marianas. TWA hypersonic- 
semiballistic liner Winged Victory out of 
San Francisco International al twenty 
o'clock this evening Pacific Coast Time 
was seen by eye and radar to implode on 
reentry. Honolulu (AP). U.S. Navy official. 
USS submersible carrier Flying Fish 
operating near Wake Island has been or- 
dered to proceed flank speed toward site 
of Winged Victory reentry. She will surface 
and launch search craft at optimum point. 
Navy PIO spokesman, when asked what 
was optimum, replied. 'No comment' As- 
sociated Press's military editor noted that 
submerged speed of Flying Fish class and 
type and characteristics of craft carried 
are classified information. TWA spokes- 
men released passenger list by order of Ihe 
Civil Aerospace Board. List follows: Cali- 
fornia — " 

The list was long. I did not recognize any 
names until Gay reached "Doctor Neil 0. 
Brain—" 

I gasped. But no one said a word until 
Gay announced, "End running news re- 
trieval." 



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"Thank you, Gay." 

"A pleasure, Zeb." 

Zebbie said, "Professor?" 

"You're in command, Captain!" 

"Very well, sir! All of you — lifeboat rules! I 
expect fast action and no back talk. Esti- 
mated departure, five minutes! First, every- 
body take a pee! Second, put on the 
clothes you'll travel in. Jake, switch oif , lock 
up— whatever you do to secure your house 
for long absence. Deety, follow Jake, make 
sure he hasn't missed anything; then you, 
not Jake, switch out lights and close doors. 
Hilda, bundle what's left of that Dutch lunch 
and fetch it— fast, not fussy. Check the re- 
frigerator for solid foods — no liquids — and 
cram what you can into Gay's refrigerator. 
Don't dither over choices. Questions, any- 
one? Move!" 

By using my cape as a Santa Claus 
pack, I carried food into the garage and put 
it down by Gay— and was delighted to find 
that I was the first there. 

Zebbie strode in behind me, dressed in a 
coverall with thigh pockets, a pilot suit. He 
looked at the pile on my cape. "Where's the 
elephant. Sharpie?" 

"Cap'n Zebbie, you didn't say how 
much, you just said what. What won't go 
she can have." I hooked a thumb at the 
chopped-up corpse. 

"Sorry, Hilda; you are correct." Zebbie 
glanced at his wristwatch, the multiple-dial 
sort they call a navigator's watch. 

"Cap'n, this house has loads of gim- 



micks and gadgets and bells and whistles. 
You gave them an impossible schedule." 

"On purpose, dear. Let's see how much 
food we can stow." 

Gay's cold chest is set flush in the deck 
of the driver's compartment. Zebbie told 
Gay to open up, then, with his shoulders 
sideways, reached down and unlocked it. 
"Hand me stuff." 

I tapped his butt. "Out of there, you over- 
grown midget, and let Sharpie pack. I'll let 
you know when it's tight as a girdle." 

Space that makes Zebbie twist and grunt 
is roomy for me. He passed things in. I fitted 
them for maximum stowage. The third item 
he handed me was the leavings of our buf- 
fet dinner. "That's our picnic lunch," I told 
him, putting it on his seat. 

"Can't leave it loose in the cabin." 

"Cap'n, we'll eat it before it can spoil. I 
will be strapped down. Is it okay if I clutch it 
to my bosom?" 

"Sharpie, have I ever won an argument 
with you?" 

"Only by brute force, dear. Can the chat- 
ter and pass the chow." 

With the help of God and a shoehorn it all 
went in. I was in a backseat with our lunch 
in my lap and my cape under me before our 
spouses showed up. "Cap'n Zebbie, why 
did the news of Brainy's death cause your 
change of mind?" 

"Do you disapprove, Sharpie?" 

"On the contrary, Skipper. Do you want 
my guess?" 




"Winged Victory was booby-trapped. 
And dear Doctor Brain, who isn't the fool I 
thought he was, was not aboard. Those 
poor people were killed so that he could 
disappear." 

"Go to the head of the class. Sharpie. 
Too many coincidences. And they— the 
Blokes in Black Hats— know where we 
are." 

"Meaning that Professor IM. 0. Brain, in- 
stead of being dead in the Pacific, might 
show up any second." 

"He and a gang of green-blooded aliens 
who don't like geometers." 

"Zebbie. what do you figure their plans 
are?" 

"Can't guess. They might fumigate this 
planet and take it. Or conquer us as cattle 
or as slaves. The only data we have are that 
they are alien, that they are powerful, and 
that they have no compunction about kill- 
ing us. So I have no compunction about 
killing them. To my regret, I don't know how. 
So I'm running — running scared — and tak- 
ing the three I'm certain are in danger with 
me." 

"Will we ever be able to find them and kill 
them''" 

Zebbie didn't answer because Deety 
and my Jacob arrived, breathless. Father 
and daughter were in jump suits. Deety 
looked chesty and cute; my darling looked 
trim — but worried. "We're late. Sorry!" 

"You're not late," Zeb told them. "But into 
your seats on the bounce." 

Checkoffs completed, Gay switched off 
lights, opened the garage door, and 
backed out onto the landing flat. 

"Copilot, can you read your verniers?" 

"Captain, I had better loosen my chest 
belt." 

"Do so if you wish. But your seat adjusts 
forward twenty centimeters — here, I'll get 
it," Zeb reached down, did something be- 
tween their seats. "Say when." 

"There, that's about right. I can read 'em 
and reach 'em, with chest strap in place. 
Orders, sir?" 

"Where was your car when you and 
Deety went to the space-time that lacked 
the letter J?" 

"About where we are now." 

"Can you send us there?" 

"I think so. Minimum translation, posi- 
tive—entropy, increasing — along tau 
axis." 

"Please move us there, sir." 

My husband touched the controls. 
"That's it, Captain." 

I couldn't see any change. Our house 
was still a silhouette against the sky, with 
the garage a black maw in front of us. The 
stars hadn't even flickered. 

Zebbie said, "Let's check, "-and 
switched on Gay's roading lights, brightly 
lighting our garage. Empty and looked 
normal'. 

Zebbie said, "Hey! Look at that\" 

"Lookatwriaf?" I demanded, and tried to 
see around Jacob. 

"At nothing, rather. Sharpie, Where's 



OJEXT Drmrui 







SCIENCE RENAISSANCE IN EUROPE-After many false starts and disappoint- 
ing efforts, to recover its pre-World War II scientific glory, Europe is suddenly astir 
with ambitious, well-financed, high-quality research. France., Germany, and Great 
Britain have pooled a formidable assemblage of intellectual power and physical 
resources to build a space program, create high-energy atom smashers, and 
pioneer new medical techniques. "Twenty years ago the United States was doing 
eighty percent of the world's science," says Pierre Aigrain, France's equivalent of 
the White House science adviser. "Now Europe is catching up, and the U.S. share of 
the total has been going down." Science-watcher Daniel S. Greenberg went to the 
Continent's major science centers and brought back the inside story on why Europe 
is making the grade in Big Science. Read it exclusively in the December Omni. 

HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION— Somebody always has to be the guinea pig before 
medical science can move forward. But while human experimentation remains as 
fixed an element of research as theories and test tubes, the very words make the 
skin crawl, conjuring up visions of Nazi doctor horrors and brutal exploitation of 
prisoners,' poor people, and hospital patients. In the December Omni Dava Sobel 
explores the ethical and moral dilemmas raised by human-subject research, faking 
a look at how new safeguard regulations will affect the course of future discovery 

PRIZES! PRIZES! PRIZES! — What's the greatest untapped resource in science? 
The desire. to win a prize, says Omni senior editor Scot Morris. Lindbergh's flight 
across the Atlantic, man-powered flight across the English Channel, a clock that 
works on board ship, a bicycle that can go over 55 mph, the smallest motor ever 
built, the breeding of a white marigold — all were achievements inspired by the 
offering o! a prize. Next month Morris examines prizes past and calls for a 
reinstatement of the prize as an exciting and economic incentive to stimulate 
new scientific achievement — while offering some prizeworthy notions of his own. 

INTERVIEW/RENE DUBOS— Meet one of the world's most accomplished 

biologists in this exclusive, interview. Dubos, a famed researcher and teacher at 
Rockefeller University, discovered the first useful antibiotic, helped develop the first 
tuberculosis vaccine; and won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1968 book, So Human an 
Animal. Today he says that science and society have become too complex for 
people to cope with; read his prescription for reorganization in our next issue. 

120 QMMI 



your alien?" 

Then I understood. No corpse. No 
green-blood mess. Workbench against the 
wall and floodlights not rigged. 

Zebbie said, "Gay Deceiver, take us 
home!" 

Instantly the same scene, but with 
carved-up corpse.J gulped. 

Zebbie switched out the lights. I felt bet- 
ter, but not much. 

"Captain?" 

"Copilot." 

"Wouldn't it have been well to have 
checked for that letter J? It would have 
given me a check on calibration." 

"I did check, Jake. You have bins on 
the back of your garage neatly stenciled. 
The one at left center reads Junk Metal." 

"Oh!" 

"Yes, and your analog in that space — 
your twin, Jake-prime, or what you will — 
has your neat habits. The left-corner bin 
read lunk Metal, spelled with an /. A cup- 
board above and to the right contained 
lugs & lars. So I told Gay to take us home. I 
was afraid they might catch us. Embarrass- 
ing." 

Deety said, "Zebadiah — I mean 
Captain — embarrassing how. sir? Oh, that 
missing letter in the alphabet scared me, 
but it no longer does. Now I'm nervous 
about aliens. Black Hats." 

"Deety, you were lucky that first time. 
Because Deety-prime was not at home. But 
she may be, tonight. Possibly in bed with 
her husband, named Zebadiah-prime. Un- 
stable cuss. Likely to shoot at a strange car 
shining lights into his father-in-law's get-* 
rage. A violent character." 

"You're teasing me." 

"No, Princess; it did worry me. A parallel 
space, with so small a difference as the 
lack of one unnecessary letter, but with 
house and grounds you mistook for your 
own, seems to imply a father and daughter 
named lacob and Deiah Thoris." Captain 
Zebbie pronounced the names Yacob and 
Deyah Thoris. 

"Zebadiah, that scares me almost as 
much as aliens." 

"Aliens scare me far more. Hello, Gay." 

"Howdy, Zeb. Your nose is runny." 

"Smart Girl, one gee vertically to one 
klick. Hover." 

"Roger dodger, you old codger." 

We rested on our backs and headrests 
for a few moments, then, with a stomach- 
surging swoosh of a fast lift, we leveled off 
and hovered. Zebbie said, "Deety, can the 
autopilot accept a change in that homing 
program by voice? Or does it take an offset 
in the verniers?" 

"What do you want to do?" 

"Same ell-and-ell two klicks above 
ground." 

"I think so. Shall I? Or do you want to do it, 
Captain?" 

"You try it, Deety." 

"Yes, sir. Hello, Gay." 

"Hi, Deety!" 

"Program check. Define Home." 

"Home. Cancel any-all inertials transi- 



tions translations rotations. Return to pre- 
programmed zero latitude, longitude, 
ground level," 

"Report present location." 

"One klick vertically above Home." 

"Gay. Program revision." 

"Waiting, Deety." 

"Home program, Cancel Ground level. 
Substitute, Two klicks above ground level, 
hovering." 

"Program revision recorded." 

"Gay Deceiver, take us home!" 

Instantly, with no feeling of motion, we 
were much higher. 

Zeb said, "Two klicks on the nose! Deety 
you're asmartgirll" 

"Zebadiah, I bet you tell that to all the 
girls." 

"No, just to some. Gay. you're a smart 

gin." 

"Then why are you shacked up with that 
strawberry blonde with the fat knockers?" 

Zebbie craned his neck and looked at 
me. "Sharpie, that's your voice." 

I ignored him with dignity. Zebbie drove 
south to the Grand Canyon, eerie in star- 
light. Without slowing, he said, "Gay De- 
ceiver, take us home!"— and again we 
were hovering over our cabin. No jar, no 
shock, no nothing. 

Zebbie said, "Jake, once I figure the an- 
gles, I'm going to quit spending money on 
juice. How does she do it when we haven't 
been anywhere? — no rotation, no transla- 



"I may have given insufficient thought to 
a trivial root in equation ninety-seven. But it 
is analogous to what we were considering 
doing with planets.. A five-dimensional 
transform simplified to three." 

I said. "Excuse me, gentlemen. Can't we 
move somewhere away from right over our 
cabin? I'm jumpy. Black Hats are hunting 
us." 

"You're right, Sharpie; I'm about to move 
us. All secure?" 

"Captain Zebadiah!" 

"Trouble, Princess?" 

"May I attempt a novel program? It may 
save time." 

"Programming isyourpidgin. Certainly." 

"Hello, Gay." 

"Hi, Deety!" 

"Retrieve last program. Report execute 
code." 

"Reporting, Deety. 'Gay Deceiver, take 
us home!' " 

"Negative. Erase permanent program 
controlled by execute-code Gay Deceiver 
take us home. Report confirm." 



"Confirmati 
gram execute- 
home negati 
times." 

"Deety," sa: 



ion report. Permanent pro- 
■coded Gay Deceiver take us 
le erase. I tell you three 



d Zeb, "a neg scrub to Gee 
tells her to place item in perms three 

places. Redundancy safety factor." 
"Don't bother me, dear! She and I sling 

the same lingo. Hello, Gay." 
"Hello, Deety!" 




"Execule-code new permanent pro- 
gram, Gay Deceiver, countermarch! At 
new execute-code, repeat reversed in real 
time latest sequence inertials transitions 
translations rotations before last use of 
program execute-code Gay Deceiver take 
us home." 

"New permanent-program accepted." 

"Gay, I tell you three times." 

"Deety, I hear you three times." 

"Gay Deceiver, countermarch!" 

Instantly we were over the Grand Can- 
yon, cruising south. I saw Zeb reach for the 
manual controls. "Deety, that was slick." 

"I didn't save time, sir, 1 goofed. Gay, 
you're a smart girl," 

"Deety, don't make me blush." 

"You're both smart girls," said Captain 
Zebbie. "If anyone had us on radar, he 
must think he's getting cataracts. Vice 
versa, if anyone picked us up here, he's 
wondering how we popped up, Smart 
dodge, dear. You've got Gay Deceiver so 
deceptive that nobody can home on us. 
We'll be elsewhere. Jake, are your profes- 
sional papers aboard? Both theoretical 
and drawings?" 

"Why, no, Zeb— Captain. Too bulky. Mi- 
crofilms 1 brought. Originals are in the 
basement vault. Have I erred?" 

"Not a bit! Is there any geometer who 
gave yqur published paper on this six-way 
syslenra friendly reception?" 

"Captain, there aren't more than a hand- 
ful of geometers capable of judging my 
postulate system without long and inten- 
sive study. It's too unorthodox. Your late 
cousin was one— a truly brilliant mind! Uh, I 
now suspect that Doctor Brain understood 
it and sabotaged it for his own purposes." 

"Jake, is there anyone friendly to you 
and able to understand the stuff in your 
vault? I'm trying to figure out how to warn 
our fellow humans. A fantastic story of ap- 
parently unrelated incidents is not enough. 
Not even with the corpse of an extraterres- 
trial to back it up. You should leave mathe- 
matical theory and engineering drawings 
to someone able to understand them and 
whom you trust. We can't handle it; every 
time we stick our heads up, somebody 
takes a shot at us. And we have no way to 
fight back. It's a job that may require our 
whole race. Well? Is there a man you can 
trust as your professional executor?" 

"Well, one, perhaps. Not my field of 
geometry, but brilliant. He did write me a 
most encouraging letter when I published 
my first paper— the paper that was so. 
sneered at by almost everyone except your 
cousin and this one other. Professor Seppo 
Raikannonen, of Turku. Finland." 

"Are you certain he's not an alien?" 

"What? He's been on the faculty at Turku 
for years! Over fifteen." 

I said, "Jacob, that is about how long 
Professor Brain was around," 

"But—" My husband looked around at 
me and suddenly smiled. "Hilda, my love, 
have you ever taken a sauna?" 
"Once." 
"Then tell our captain why I am sure that 



onnr 




my friend Seppois not an alien in disguise. 
I — Deety and I — attended a professional 
meeting in Helsinki last year. After the 
meeting, we visited their summer place in 
the Lake Country and took a sauna with 
them." 

"Papa, Mama, and three kids," agreed 
Deety. "Unmistakably human." 

"Brainy was a bachelor," I added 
thoughtfully. "Cap'n Zebbie, wouldn't dis- 
guised aliens have to be bachelors?" 

"Or single women. Or pseudo-married 
couples. No kids, the masquerade 
wouldn't hold up. Jake, let's try to phone 
your friend. Mmrn, nearly breakfast time in 
Finland, or we may wake him. That's better 
than missing him." 

"Good! My comcredit number is Nero 
Aleph— " 

"Let's try mine. Yours might trigger 
something if Black Hats are as smart as I 
think they are. Smart Girl." 

"Yes, Boss." 

"Don Ameche." 

"To hear is to obey, Mighty One." 

"Deety, you've been giving Gay bad 
habits." 

Shortly a flat male voice answered, "The 
communications credit number you have 
cited is not a valid number. Please refer to 
your card and try again. This is a record- 
ing." 

Zebbie made a highly unlikely sugges- 
tion. "Gay can't send out my comcredit 
code incorrectly; she has it tell-me-three- 
times. The glitch is in their system. Pop, we 
have to use yours." 

1 said, "Try mine, Zebbie. My comcredit 
is good; I predeposit." 

A female voice this time; "—not a valid 
number. Puh-lease refer to your card and 
try again. This is a recording." 

Then my husband got a second female 
voice: " — try again, This is a recording." 

Deety said, "I don't have one. Pop and I 
use the same number." 

"It doesn't matter," Cap'n Zebbie said 
bitterly. "These aren't glitches. We've been 
scrubbed. Unpersons. We're all dead." 

I didn't argue. I had suspected that we 
were dead since the morning two weeks 
earlier when I woke up in bed with my 
cuddly new husband. But how long had we 
i been dead? Since my party? Or more re- 
cently? 

I didn't care. This was a better grade ot 
heaven than Sunday school in Terre Haute 
had taught me to expect. While 1 don't think 
I've been outstandingly wicked, I haven't 
been very good either. Of the Ten Com- 
mandments I've broken six and bent some 
others, But Moses apparently had not had 
the Last Word from on High, Being dead 
was weird and wonderful, and I was enjoy- 
ing every minute ... or eon, as the case 
might be. 

Zeb 

Not being able to phone from my car was 
my most frustrating experience since a 
night I spent in jail through a mistake — ' 
made the mistake. I considered grounding 



to phone, but the ground did not seem 
healthy. Even if all of us were presumed 
dead, nullifying our comcredit cards so 
quickly seemed unfriendly; all of us had 
high credit ratings. 

Canceling Sharpie's comcredit without 
proof of death was more than unfriendly; it 
was outrageous, since she used the pre- 
deposit method, 

I was forced to the decision that it was my 
duty to make a military report; I radioed 
NORAD, stated name, rank, reserve- 
commission serial number, and asked for 
scramble for a crash priority report — and 
ran into "correct" procedure, which causes 
instant ulcers. What was my clearance? 
What led me to think that I had crash- 
priority intelligence? By what authority did I 
demand a scramble code? Do you know 
how many screwball calls come in here 
every day? Get off this frequency; it's for 
official traffic only. One more word out of 
you, and I shall alert the civil sky patrol to 
pick you up. 

I said one more word after I chopped off. 
Deety and her father ignored it; Hilda said, 
"My sentiments exactly!" 

1 tried the Federal Rangers' Kaibab Bar- 
racks at Jacob Lake, then the office at 
Littlefield, and back to Kaibab. Liitlefield 
didn't answer; Jacob Lake answered: "This 
is a recording. Routine messages may be 
recorded during beep tone. Emergency 
reports should be transmitted to Flagstaff 
HQ. Stand by for beep tone . . . Beep! . . . 
Beep! . . , Beep! . . ." 

I was about to tell Gay to zip my tape 
when the whole world was lighted by the 
brightest light imaginable. 

Luckily we were cruising south with that 
light behind us. I goosed Gay to flank 
speed while telling her to tuck in her wings. 
Not one of my partners asked a foolish 
question, although I suspect that none had 
ever seen a fireball or a mushroom cloud. 

"Smart girl." 

"Here. Boss." 

"DR problem. Record true bearing light 
beacon relative bearing astern, Record 
radar range and bearing same beacon. 
Solve latitude/longitude beacon. Compare 
solution with fixes in perms. Confirm." 

"Program confirmed." 

"Execute." 

"Roger Wilco, Zeb. Heard any new ones 
lately?" She added at once, "Solution. True 
bearing identical with fix execute-coded 
Gay Deceiver take us home. True range 
identical plus-minus zero point six klicks." 

"You're a smart girl, Gay." 

"Flattery will get you anywhere, Zeb. 
Over." 

"Roger and out. Hang onto your hats, 
folks; we're going straight up." I had out- 
raced the Shockwave, but we were close to 
the Mexican border; either side might send 
sprint birds homing on us. "Copilot!" 

"Captain." 

"Move us! Out of this space!" 

"Where, Captain?" 

"Anywherel Fast!" 

"Uh, can you ease the acceleration? I 






can't lift my arms." 

Cursing myself, I cut power, let Gay De- 
ceiver climb free. Those vernier controls 
should have been mounted on armrests. 
Designs that look perfect on the drawing 
board can kill test pilots. 
"Translation complete, Captain." 
"Roger, Copilot. Thank you." I glanced at 
the board: six-plus klicks height-above- 
ground and rising— thin but enough air to 
bite, "Hang onto our lunch, Sharpie!" I 
leaned us backwards while doing an Irn- 
melman into level flight, course north, 
power still off. I told Gay to stretch the glide, 
then tell me when we had dropped to three 
. klicks H-above-G. 

What should have been Phoenix was off 
to the right; another city — Flagstaff?— was 
farther away, north and a bit to the east; we 
appeared to be headed home. There was 
no glowing cloud on the horizon. "Jake, 
where are we?" 

"Captain, I've never been in this uni- 
verse, We translated ten quanta positive 
tau axis. So we should be in analogous 
space close to ours — ten minimum inter- 
vals or quanta." 
"This looks like Arizona," 

'Approaching three klicks, Boss." 

"Thanks, Gay. Hold course and 
H-above-G. Correction! Hold course and 
absolute altitude. Confirm and execute." 

"Roger Wilco, Zeb." 

I had forgotten that the Grand Canyon lay 
ahead — or should. Smart Girl is smart, but 
she's literal-minded. She would have held 
height-above-ground precisely and given 
us the wildest roller-coaster ride in history. 
She is very flexible, but with her the 
"garbage-in/garbage-out" law applies. 
She had many extra fail-safes— because / 
make mistakes. Gay can't; anything she 
does wrong is my mistake. Since I've been 
making mistakes all my life, I surrounded 
her with all the safeguards I could think of. 
But she had no program against wild 
rides — she was beefed up to accept them. 
Violent evasive tactics had saved our lives 
two weeks ago. and tonight as well. Being 
too close to a fireball can worry a man — to 
death. 

"Gay, display map, please." 

The map showed Arizona — our Arizona; 
Gay does not have in her gizzards any 
strange universes. I changed course to 
cause us to pass over our cabin site — its 
analog for this space-time. Didn't dare tell 
her, "Gay, take us home!" for reasons left as 
an exercise for the class. "Deety, how long 
ago did that bomb go off?" 

"Six minutes twenty-three seconds. 
Zebadiah, was that really an A-bomb?" 

"Pony bomb, perhaps. Maybe two kilo- 
tons. Gay Deceiver." 

"I'm all ears, Zeb." 

"Report time interval since radar-ranging 
beacon." 

"Five minutes forty-four seconds, Zeb." 

Deety gasped. "Was I that far off?" 

"No. darling. You reported time since 
tlash. I didn't ask Gay to range until after we 
were hypersonic." 



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"Oh. I feel better" 

"Deety. how long has it been since we 
killed that fake ranger?" 

"That was seventeen fourteen. It Is now 
twenty-two twenty. Five hours six minutes." 
' "Check. Jake, I didn't know that Gay 
could range an atomic blast. Light beacon 
to her means a visible light just as radar 
beacon means a navigational radar bea- 
con. I told her to get a bearing on the light 
beacon directly ait; she selected the 
brightest light with that bearing. Then I told 
her to take radar range and bearing on it 
and spun my prayer wheel and prayed. 

"There was 'white noise' possibly blan- 
keting her radar frequency But her own 
radar bursts are tagged; it would take a 
very high noise level at the same irequency 
to keep her from recognizing echoes with 
her signature. Clearly she had trouble, for 
she reported 'plus-minus' of six hundred 
meters. Nevertheless, range and bearing 
matched a fix in her permanents and told 
us our cabin had been bombed. Bad news. 
But the aliens got there too late to bomb us. 
Good news." 

"Captain, I decline to grieve over material 
loss, We are alive." 

"I agree, although I'll remember Snug 
Harbor as the happiest home I've ever had. 
But there is no point in trying to warn 
Earth — our Earth — about aliens. That blast 
destroyed the clincher; that alien's cadaver. 
And papers and drawings you were going 
to turn over to your Finnish friend. I'm not 
sure we can go home again." 

"Oh, that's no problem, Captain. Two 
seconds to set the verniers. Not to mention 
the deadman switch and the program in 
Gay's permanents." 

"Jake, I didn't mean that you can't pilot 
us home; I mean we should not risk it. We've 
losl our last lead oh the aliens. But they 
know who we are and have shown dismay- 
ing skill in tracking us down. I'd like lo live to 
see two babies born and grow up." 

'Amen!" said Sharpie. "This might be the 
place for it. Out of a million billion zillion 
Earths, this one may be vermin-lree. Highly 
likely." 

"Hilda my dear, there are no data on 
which to base any assumption." 

"Jacob, there is one datum." 

"Eh? What did \ miss, dear?" 

"That we do know that our native planet is 
infested. So I don't want to raise kids on it. If 
this isn't the place we're looking for, let's 
keep looking." 

"Mmm, logical. Yes. Cap — Zeb?" 

"Recommendation?" 

"Sir, I suggest maximum altitude. Dis- 
cuss what to do while we get there," 

"Gay Deceiver." 

"On deck, Captain Ahab." 

"One gee, vertical." 

'Aye aye, sir." How many answers had 
Deety taped? 

"Anybody want a sandwich?" asked 
Sharpie. "I dp. I'm a pregnant woman." 

I suddenly realized that I had had noth- 
ing but a piece of pie since noon. As we 
climbed, we finished what was left of sup- 

126 OMNI 



per. 

"Zat Marsh?" 

"Don't talk with your mouth full, Sharpie." 

"Zebbie, you brute. I said, Is that Mars? 
Over there," 

"That's Antares. Mars is— Look ieit about 
thirty degrees. See it? Same color as An- 
tares, but brighter" 

"Got it. Jacob darling, let's take that va- 
cation on Barsoomi" 

"Hilda dearest, Mars is uninhabitable. 
The Mars Expedition used pressure suits. 
We have no pressure suits." 

I added, "Even if we did, they would get in 
the way of a honeymoon." 

Hilda answered, "I read a jingle about A 
Space Suit Built for Two.' Anyhow, let's go to 
Barsoom! Jacob, you did tell me we could 
go anywhere in Zip— nothing flat." 

"Quite true." 

"So let's go to Barsoom." 

I decided Jo flank her. "Hilda, we can't go 
to Barsoom. Mors Kajak and John Carter 
don't have their swords." 

"Want to bet?" Deety said sweetly. 

"Huh?" 

"Sir, you left it to me to pick baggage ior 
thai unassigned space. If you'll check that 
long, narrow stowage under the instrument 
board, you'll find the sword and saber, with 
belts. With socks and underwear crammed 
in to keep them from rattling." 

I said soberly, "My Princess, I couldn't 
moan about my sword when your father 
took the loss of his house so calmly -but 
thank you, with all my heart." 

"Let me add my thanks, Deety. I set much 
store by that old saber unnecessary as it 
is." 

"Father, it was quife necessary this after- 
noon." 

"Hi ho\ Hi ho\ It's to Barsoom we go!" 

"Captain, we could use the hours till 
dawn for a quick jaunt to Mars. Uh — Oh, 
dear, I have to know its present distance. I 
don't." 

"No problem," I said. "Gay gobbles the 
Aerospace Almanac each year." 

"Indeed! I'm impressed." 

"Gay Deceiver." 

"You again? I was thinking." 

"So think about this. Calculation pro- 
gram. Data address. Aerospace Almanac. 
Running calculation, line-of-sight distance 
to planet Mars. Report current answers on 
demand. Execute." 

"Program running." 

"Report." 

"KliGks two-two-four-zero-nine-zero- 
eight-two-seven point plus-minus nine- 
eight-zero." 

"Display running report." 

Gay did so, "You're a smart giri, Gay." 

"I can do card tricks, too. Program con- 
tinuing." 

"Jake, how do we do this?" 

'Align L axis with your gun sight. Isn't that 



"By far!" I aimed at Mars as if to shoot her 
out of the sky —then got cold feet. "Jake? A 
little Tennessee windage? I think those fig- 
ures are from center-of-gravity to center- 




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of-gravity. Half a mil would place us a safe 
distance away. Over a hundred thousand 
Wicks'." 

"A hundred and twelve thousand," Jake 
agreed, watching the display 

I offset one half mil. "Copilot." 

"Captain." 

"Transit when ready. Execute." 

Mars in half-phase, big and round and 
ruddy and beautiful, was swimming off c 
starboard side. 

Deety 

Aunt Hilda said softly, "Barsoom, Dead 
sea bottoms. Green giants." I just gulped. 
■ "Mars. Hilda darling," Pop gently cor- 
rected her. "Barsoom is a myth." 

"Barsoom," she repeated firmly. "It's not a 
myth; it's (here. Who says its name is Mars? 
A bunch of long-dead Romans. Aren't the 
natives entitled to name it? Barsoom." 

"My dearest, there are no natives. 
Names are assigned by an international 
committee sponsored by Harvard CJbser- 
vatory. They confirmed the traditional 
name." 

"Pooh! They don't have any more right to 
name it than I have. Deety, isn't that right?" 

I think Aunt Hilda had the best argument, 
but I don't argue with Pop unless it's neces- 
sary; he gets emotional. 

Pop and Zebadiah got busy again. Pres- 
ently Pop said, "Over twenty-four kilome- 
ters per second! Captain, at that rate we'll 
be there in a little over an hour." 

"Except that we'll scram before that. But, 
ladies, you'll get your closer look. Dead sea 
bottoms and green giants. If any." 

"Zebadiah, twenty-four kilometers per 
second is Mars's orbital speed." 

My father answered, "Eh? Why, so it is!" 
He looked very puzzled, then said, "Cap- 
tain, I confess to a foolish mistake." 

"Not one that will keep us from getting 
home, I hope." 

"No, sir. I'm still learning what our con- 
tinua craft can do. Captain, we did not airr 
for Mars." 

"I know. I was chicken." 

"No, sir, you were properly cautious. We 
aimed for a specific point in empty space . 
We transited to that point but nor with 
Mars's proper motion. With that of the solar 
system, yes. With Earth's motions sub- 
tracted; that is in the program. But we are a 
short distance ahead of Mars in its orbit; so 
it is rushing toward us." 

"Does that mean we can never land on 
any planet but Earth?" 

"Not at all. Any vector can be Included in 
the program — either before or after transi- 
tion, translation, or rotation. Any sub- 
sequent change in motion is taken into ac- 
count by the inertial integrator, But I arp 
learning that we still have things to learn." 

"Jake, that is true even of a bicycle. Quit 
worrying and enjoy the ride. Brother what a 
view!" 

"Jake, that doesn't look like the photo- 
graphs the Mars Expedition brought back." 

"Of course not," said Aunt Hilda. "I said it 
was Barsoom." 



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I kept my mouth shut. Ever since Dr. 

Sagan's photographs, anyone who reads 
(he National Geographic — or anything — 
knows- what Mars looks like. But when it 
involves changing male minds, it is -better 
to let men reach their own decisions; they 
become somewhat less pig-headed. That 
planet rushing toward us was not the Mars 
of our native sky. White clouds at the caps, 
big green areas that had to be forest or 
crops, one deep-blue area that almost cer- 
tainly was water— all this against ruddy 
shades that dominated much of the entire 
planet. 

What was lacking were the rugged 
mountains and craters and canyons of 
"our" planet Mars. There were moun- 
tains— but nothing like the Devil's Junkyard 
known to science. 

I heard Zebadiah say, "Copilot, are you 
certain you took us to Mars?" 

"Captain, I took us to Mars-ten, via plus 
on rau axis. Either that, or I'm a patient in a 
locked ward." 

"Take it easy, Jake. It doesn't resemble 
Mars as much as Earth-ten resembles 
Earth." 

"Uh. may I point out that we saw just a bit 
of Earth-ten, on a moonless night?" 

"Meaning we didn't see it. Conceded." 

Aunt Hilda said, "I told you it was Bar- 
soom, You wouldn't listen." 

"Hilda, I apologize. Barsoom. Copilot, 
log it. New planet, Barsoom. named by 
right o! discovery by Hilda Corners Bur- 
roughs, sciehce officer of Continua Craft 
Gay Deceiver. We'll all witness: Z. J. Carter, 
commanding; Jacob J. Burroughs, chief 
officer; D.T.B. Carter, uh, astrogator. I'll 
send certified copies to Harvard Obser- 
vatory as soori as possible." 

Hilda 

I knew that "my" Barsoom was not the 
planet of the classic romances. But there 
are precedents: The first nuclear sub- 
marine was named for an imaginary under- 
sea vessel made iamous by Jules Verne: 
an aircraft carrier of the Second Global War 
had been harried Shangri-La for a land as 
nonexistent as Erewhon; the first space 
freighter had been named for a starship 
that existed only in the hearts of its millions 
of fans — the list is endless. Nature copies 
art. 

Or as Deety put it: "Truth is more fantastic 
than reality." 

During that hour Barsoom rushed at us. It 
began to swell and sweil, so rapidly that 
binoculars were a nuisance, and my heart 
swelled with it. in childlike joy. Deety and I 
unstrapped ourselves so that we could see 
better, floating just "above" and behind our 
husbands while steadying ourselves on 
their headrests. 

We were seeing it in half-phase, one halt 
in darkness, the other in sunlight — ocher 
and umber and olive-green and brawn, and 
all of it beautiful. 

Our pilot and copilot did not sightsee; 
Zebbie kept taking sights, kept Jacob busy 
calculating. At last he said, "Copilot, if our 



approximations are correct, at the height at 
which we will get our first radar range, we 
will be only a bit over half a minute from 
crashing. Check?" 

"To the accuracy of our data, Captain." 

"Too close. I don't tancy arriving like a 
meteor. Is it time to hit the panic button? 
Advise, please. But bear in mind that thai 
puts us — should pufus — two klicks over a 
hot, new crater possibly in the middle of a 
radioactive cloud. Have any of you got any 
good ideas 9 " 

"Captain, we can do that just before 
crashing — and It will either work or not. If it 
works, that radioactive cloud will have had 
more time to blow away If it doesn't work — " 

"We'll hit so hard we'll hardly notice it. 
Gay Deceiver isn't built to reenter at 
twenty-four klicks per second. She's 
beefed up — but she's still a Ford, not a 
reentry vehicle." 

"Captain, I can try to subtract the 
planet's orbital speed. We've time to make 
the attempt." 

"Copilot." 

"Captain!" 

'Along L axis, subtract vector twenty-four 
klicks per second — and for God's sake 
don't get the signs reversed!" 

"I won't!" 

"Execute." 

Seconds later Jacob reported, "that 
does it, Captain. I hope." 

"Let's check. Two readings, ten seconds 
apart. I'll call the first, you call the end often 
seconds. Mark!" 

Zeb added. "One point two; Record." 

After what seemed a terribly long time, 
Jacob said, "Seven seconds . . . eight sec- 
onds ■ ■ ■ nine seconds . . . mark\" 

Our men conferred, then Jacob said. 
"Captain, we are still falling too fast. Do you 
get that feeling?" 

"Of course," said Deety. "We've been 
accelerating from gravity. Escape speed 
for Mars is five klicks per second. If Bar- 
soom has the same mass as Mars — " 

"Thank you. Astrogator. Jake, can you 
trim off, uh, four klicks per second?" 

"Sure!" 

"Do it." 

"Uh . . . done! How does she look?" 

"Uh . . . distance slowly cldsing. Hello, 
Gay." 

"Howdy, Zeb." 

"Program. Radar. Target dead ahead. 
Range." 

"No reading." 

"Continue ranging. Report first reading. 
Add program. Display running radar 
ranges to target." 

"Program running. Who blacked your 
eye?" 

"You're a smart girl, Gay." 

Tm sexy, too. Over." 

"Continue program." Zeb sighed, then 
said, "Copilot, there's atmosphere down 
there. I plan to attempt to ground. Com- 
ment? Advice?" 

"Captain, those are words I hoped to 
hear. Let's go!" 

"Barsoom — here we come!" OO 



GMfUlES 



1 . MATCH UP Steinfeld's solution is ai left. 
Barlow's al right: 



2. POTS. If the pots have hollow handles, 
as the drawings suggest, the smaller pot 
would hold more coffee because its entire 
handle is below the spout line. 

3. TRIANGLES. Many readers sent the so- 
lution at left, with six triangles. Jim 
Schmalzried. of Wabash. Indiana, created 
eight equilateral triangles in the Star of 
David pattern at right. 




exited. Rooms with an even number of 
walls pose no problem; A line enters twice 
and exits twice to cross each wall. But three 
of the rooms have five walls each — an odd 
number: In this case, if a line starts outside 
the room, it must end within it after all five 
walls are crossed; if it starts inside, it ends 
outside. If there were only two such rooms, 
the line would simply start in one and end in 
the other. But there are three such rooms, 
and so a continuous line must always fail to 
cross all the walls in at least one room. 

8. 2 = 1. The fallacy is in step 5: Dividing 
by {x - y) is the equivalent of dividing by 
zero, an operation that has no answer— not 
"zero" or "infinity" or any other number It is 
simply an operation that is not allowed in 
mathematics, precisely because it leads to 
such absurd conclusions as this one. 

9. THREE UTILITIES. This puzzle was first 
posed by English puzzlist Henry Ernest 
Dudeney in 1917. To prove it is impossible, 
imagine first that only two houses are to be 
connected to the utilities. 



4, WALL John H. Strange, of London, En- 
gland, and Edward Huntress, of Skillman, 
New Jersey, pounced on the fact that noth- 
ing in the problem requires you to keep 
your heels together or to touch your toes 
with both hands at once. They suggested 
sliding the right leg upagainslthewall until 
one can bend over sideways to touch the 
left toes, then reversing the procedure to 
touch the right toes. Huntress adds, "I con- 
firmed this by trying the exercise. I hope the 
pain stops soon." 

5. CAKE. Restack the pieces after the 
second vertical cut, then make the last 
slice down through the four-wedge tower. 





Doing this divides the plane into three re- 
gions (labeled 1 , 2, and 3 in the drawing). 
Your lines need not be exactly as shown, 
but however you draw them, you will divide 
the plane into three areas that are structur- 
ally identical to those shown. House C must 
go in one of the three regions. If it goes in 1 , 
it is cut off from water; if it goes in 2, it is cut 
off from gas; if it goes in 3, it is cut off from 
electricity. Wherever house C is placed, it is 
cut off from one of the utilities; hence, the 
problem is insoluble. 

10. NICOTINE FITS. Seven cigarettes. The 
bulls from the six new cigarettes are com- 
bined to make the seventh. Recently L. Y. 
Wu demonstrated that one can actually 
start with fewer than 36 butts and achieve 
the same result. He starts with just 35 butts 
and borrows a butt from someone else to 
make the sixth cigarette. He then returns 
the butt of his seventh cigarette to the 
lender. 



20 -uiisris. and 80 



6, PETS. No puppie 
goldfish. 



ANSWERS TO READERS' PUZZLES 



53 



7. FIVE ROOMS. The line must either enter 

a room from outside or start within it. With 

the exception of the starting and ending Stanford University instructors, using this 

rooms, each room entered must also be puzzle to show how old habits block think- 

130 OMNi 



ing, had the lesson thrown back at them 
when a student realized thai nothing in the 
rules requires the lines to go through the 
centers of the dots and offered a three-line 
solution: 




It that weren't enough, according to 
Eugene Raudsepp's Creative Growth 
Games, a friend of Stanford Professor 
James L. Adams came up with the ultimate 
"cook"- a way to fold the paper so that all 
nine dots can be crossed off with one 
straight line. 




12. THE BEAR. The explorer could be 
standing near the South Pole, so close that 
when the bear walks east, its 100-meter 
path carries it once around the Pole and 
back to where it started. The man could 
stand even closer to the Pole, allowing the 
bear to circle it twice, or three times, and so 
on. 

Benjamin Schwartz found two other 
families of infinite solutions. In one, the bear 
stops exactly opposite the man on theother 
side of the Pole, after circling it one and a 
half or two and a half times, etc. In the other, 
man and bear start on opposite sides of the 
Pole, the man farther from it. The bear's 
hike can then be a half-circle, full circle, 
one and a half, two, etc., ultimately becom- 
ing a pirouette on the Pole itself. 

Bear-hunting season is still open, ac- 
cording to Martin Gardner R. S. Burton of- 
fered a solution that took into account the 
earth's spin (the Coriolis effect). Schwartz 
replied that this solution was impractical 
because the bullet would have to fly impos- 
sibly slowly for the earth's spin to have 
any noticeable effect on its trajectory In 
the spirit of gamesmanship, however, 
Schwartz offered a substitute Coriolis solu- 
tion; "The shot has a muzzle velocity of 
about 17,000 mph. just sufficient to keep ■ 
the bullet in orbit at an altitude of five feet 
above the ground. It continues to circle the 
earth indefinitely, with its orbit precessing 
to the west, until (with probability 1) it hits 
any bear of height more than five feet. . . . 
(Note: After shooting, the hunter is required 
toduck.)"DO 




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UFD 



of Ubatuba led to Robert = Ogilvie. a pro- 
fessor oi metallurgy at MIT, who conducted 
an analysis of a fragment supplied to the 
magazine by APRO. 

The specimen was examined by metal - 
lographic analysis to determine its me- 
chanical and thermal history. Electron 
probe microanalysis was employed to de- 
termine the chemical composition and the 
distribution of elements within the speci- 
men. Results of these tests showed the 
metal to be pure magnesium. No impurities 
or alloying elements, such as aluminum, 
zinc, manganese, or tin. were lound. An 
oxygen x-ray map picked up magnesium 
and oxygen x-ray signals, thus confirming 
the network to be magnesium oxide. 

"My conclusion," says Ogilvie. "is that 
the specimen from Brazil has a composi- 
tion that would be found in magnesium 
weld metal. However, the structure is in- 
deed unusual. In my opinion it could only 
have been tormed by heating the mag- 
nesium very close to its melting point in air. 
It would be necessary to hold the tempera- 
ture for only a minule or so. This would 
produce an oxide coating on the material, 
which is clearly visible. Also, oxygen would 
diffuse down the grain boundaries, thereby 
producing the oxide network. It is therefore 
quite possible that the specimen from 
Brazil was a piece of a weld metal from an 
exploding aircraft or a reentering satellite." 

Another intriguing example in the search 
for extraterresiria SLOstaices is the Wil- 
liam Herrmann case. Despite its sen- 
sationalists overtones and parallels with 
the film Close Encounters at the Third Kind, 
the Herrmann case has generated little or 
no. publicity. Herrmann had decided to 
minimize the details of his experience be- 
cause of his wish for privacy. However, be- 
cause of a recent turn of events, he has 
decided to publicize his case in the hope of 
acquiring some insight into the origin of the 
phenomenon. 

The Charleston UFO observations 
began on November 12. 1977. On a clear 
day, with 20-mile visibility, Herrmann ob- 
served a bright-silver, metallic disk. The ob- 
ject was describing strange triangular pat- 
terns in the sky near the South Carolina 
Electric and Gas power towers adjacent to 
the Ashley River basin west of Dorchester 
Road, This object was also seen by other 
residents in the North Charleston area. The 
sighting would set the stage for a series of 
inexplicable events. In a brief period of a 
year and a half, more than 40 sightings, 9 of 
which were by Herrmann, of a similar ob- 
ject occurred in the Charleston area. Not 
only has Herrmann photographed the ob- 
ject, but he claims lo have been abducted 
by alien visitors on two separate occasions, 
March 18, 1978, and May 16, 1979. Perhaps 
the most signilicant event, in terms of val- 
idating his experience, was the materializa- 



tion of the melal bar in his home on the night 
of April 21, 1979. 

While Herrmann was in the bedroom of 
his mobile home that Saturday night, the 
room suddenly brightened. He looked 
around and saw a ball of blue light emanat- 
ing from the top of his dresser. The light 
grew in intensity andjhen, just as suddenly 
began to fade. As it did so, Bill made out a 
faint object in the center of the vanishing 
ball of light. Dazed and puzzled. Herrmann 
crossed the room and picked up a rectan- 
gular bar similar to a small ingot of precious 
metal, Overwhelmed by the experience, he 
remained silent and distant as he pon- 
dered the strange, symbollike markings 
engraved in the bar Immediately after re- 
gaining his composure, he notiiied Wen- 
delle Stevens, who had been the initial in- 
vestigator in the case. Stevens notified 
APRO. which arranged for Dr. Walter 
Walker to analyze the bar. A careful visual 
and microscopic examination revealed that 
the artifact was a casting. Precision ther- 
mal analysis and qualitative and semiquan- 
titative chemical analysis identified the 
material as hard lead containing 4 to 6 per- 
cent antimony. 

Two small metal fragments of the Herr- 
mann bar were sent by Omni to MIT for 
metallographic and electron probe testing. 
Results of MIT's analysis fairly duplicated 
APRO's conclusions. The specimen was 
made of a cast alloy, and its composition 
approximated that of lead water pipes or of 
lead grids from an automobile battery. This 
analysis corroborated APRO's finding that 
the fragments contained 6 percent anti- e 
mony. 

The second time Herrmann was ab- 
ducted, he was told the following by an 
alien aboard the UFO; "In regard to the bar. 
we have been authorized to give solely and 
without favor to you, It is a gift of respect 
and appreciation. You are one of the few to 
receive such a bar It has much value to us 
. . .though it is regarded as worthless to you 
when its value is estimated according to 
your primitive measure of comprehension." 

A statement that was made by Dr. Walker 
some time ago while studying the Brazilian 
magnesium specimen best sums all this 
up, "Perhaps the extraterrestrials used 
methods within our technology and materi- 
al available on Earth, and therefore their 
handiwork cannot be distinguished from 
our own." Whatever the conclusions, pro or 
con, one thing is certain, events of this type 
help to give us a better understanding of an 
enigma yet to be solved. Of course, the 
whole world is waiting for the moment when 
the proverbial flying saucer lands on the 
White House lawn (see "Illegal Aliens," page 
84), Until then, however we'll have to settle 
tor random chunks of metal accompanied 
by stories so weird they cannot be ignored. 

If you know of anyone who has knowl- 
edge of, or possesses, any hard evidence 
relating tothe UFO phenomenon, contact the 
Aerial Phenomena Research Organiza- 
tion. 3910 East Kleindaie Street, Tucson, Ari- 
zona 85712, or phone 602-323- 1825. DO 



EARTH 

CONTINUED FROM i^AGF 14 

The salient trait oi the board members was 
that they had children in their late teens. 
Just before Christmas vacation, he called 
the children and described for them the 
damage a nuclear reactor would do to 
Cayuga Lake. 

"The kids made their parents' Christmas 
absolutely miserable," Harding recalls. 
"David got irate calls from board members. 
But it was too late. He had caused a bunch 
of small uprisings. It was the beginning of 
the' end. Four out of ten board members 
opposed the site, at which point it was hard 
for the 'Staff to push for it." 

Comey went on to become a specialist in 
reactor safety but he would become skill- 
ful, too, at finding holes in industry evacua- 
tion plans! in reactor-reliability claims, in 
industry boasts on reactor economics. He 
was among the first to use the Freedom of 
Information Act to lorce nuclear secrets out 
into the light. His motives were not those 
common to hjs movement. He seemed less 
concerned with stopping nuclear power 
(he would' never admit to being "antiriu- 
clear") than with stopping its proponents 
from/y/ng so much. The dishonesty of nu- 
clear power seemed to offend him more 
than the threat of it, and the last ten years of 
his life were spent ferreting out the truth (or 
badgering, since Comey was a stubby man). 

If Comey ever revealed himself publicly, it 
was in a speech he gave before the Atomic 
Industrial Forum in February1975. There, in 
the den of the opposition, he began: "The 
Greek playwright Aristophanes once wrote, 
'Wise men often learn from their enemies.' I 
will assume you are wise men; I think you 
probably assume I am your enemy. 

"When Carl Goldstein called me two 
weeks ago to invite me to give a talk to you 
about the nuclear industry's lack of credi- 
bility he said he did not want me to spend 
thirty minutes flinging your past mistakes in 
your faces; [he wanted] something posi- 
tive, such as what the industry could now 
do to improve its credibility. He also wanted 
me to 'spill my secrets' on how I operate. 

"I later ran this by the Ruling Presidium of 
the Antinuclear Cabal, and there was some 
consternation that I would even consider 
revealing my methods. I later received a 
cable instructing me. Tell them nothing 
they can use.' Although there is an old 
Neapolitan adage, 'You surrender your lib- 
erty to him to whom you tell your secrets,' I 
have decided that I can safely tell you what 
they are." 

His secrets, Comey explained to the nu- 
clear men, had been learned from R.H.S. 
Grossman, the British officer in charge of 
Allied psychological warfare in Europe dur- 
ing the Second World War. Crossman, an 
Oxford don and a lecturer on Plato's Repub- 
lic and on Marx, also had been a genius at 
propaganda, a man with "a lovable and 
likable but extremely insidious personality," 
according to a colleague. That description 

134 OMNI 



would have served well for Comey himself, 
and in 1953 the younger lovably insidious 
personality, listening to a Crossman lec- 
ture, -liked what he heard. Crossman's 
seven principles for successful propagan- 
da became Comey's own. "As you listen to 
Crossman's principles," he now fold his lis- 
teners, "I am su*e you will understand what 
the French writer Fontenelle meant when 
he said, 'Truth enters the mind so naturally 
that when one hears it for the first" time, it 
seems one is only remembering what one 
already knows.' " 

Crossman's first principle was, perhaps, 
the most unexpected: The basis for ail suc- 
cessful propaganda is the truth. "It is a 
complete delusion to think of the brilliant 
propagandist as being a professional liar," 
Crossman had told Comey "The brilliant 
propagandist is the man who tells the truth 
and tells it in such a way that the recipient 
does not think that he is receiving any 
propaganda. The art of the propagandist is 
never to be thought a propagandist, but [tol 



tComey was a paradox, 
deliberate and self-made; an 

environmentalist 
who dressed like a captain 

of industry; an 

outrageous hyperbolist with 

a passion (when 

serious) for the truth3 



seem to be a bluff, simple, honorable 
enemy who would never think of descend- 
ing to the level of propaganda." 

Principle Two. The key to successful 
propaganda is accurate inlormation. 

Three. The most successful propagan- 
dist is the person who cares about educa- 
tion. 

Four. 7o do propaganda well, one musl 
riot fall in love with it. 

Five, A successful propBgandist cannot 
afford to mak& mistakes. 

Six. The propagandist must b'e credible 
to the other side, not your own. 

Seven, it is the understatement thai suc- 
ceeds best. 

And that, Comey told his enemies, was 
all there was to it. 

Comey went on: "Crossman says the 
successful propagandist is the person who 
cares about educating the public. He 
wants people to think for themselves, as 
individuals, and not accept the party line. 
That is hardly a philosophy many industry 
executives embrace; they want the public 
to 'accept' nuclear power, and that is quite 
another thing. 

"Should you wish to become credible, a 



propitious begmnng -.vol, Id bo to start tell- 
ing the truth. 

'Admit thai low-level radiation can cause 
cancer and long-term genetic effects, 

"Confess thai ■mportant safety research 
on light-water reactors has never been 
done and that some has been done im- 
properly 

"Stop hiding you "computer codes under 
the cloak of a 'proprietary' designation, and 
let them be analyzed by the academic and 
engineering community at large. 

"Admit that you are not enchanted with 
the reliability and delivcrability of presently 
operating nuclear plants. 

"Reveal all ol the costs of nuclear- 
generated electricity, both present and 
twenty years into the future. 

"Do an energetics input-output model of 
the nuclear program as a whole; then do a 
comparable one for alternative energy 
sources and reveal which ones come out 
ahead on this basis. 

"Tell the public why you have not been 
able to reprocess spent fuel and what im- 
pact the lack of sufficient storage pools 
may have over the next ten years. 

"Talk about the ethics of our consuming 
electricity from fission reactors for fifty 
years and saddling twenty thousand future 
generations with the social and environ- 
mental problems of perpetually caring for 
the actinide-contaminated high-level 
radioactive wastes. 

"Discuss the threats to democratic soci- 
ety posed by a plutonium economy. 

"You may, like [Aleksandrl. Solzhenitsyn, 
ask, 'If the first tiny droplet of truth has * 
exploded like a psychological bomb, what 
will happen in our country when waterfalls 
of truth come crashing down?' 

"The more you ignore us, the less credi- 
ble you become. 

"Perhaps you fear that a full and frank 
discussion of these issues will result in no 
further use of light-water fission reactors. 

"So be it. That is the price of living in a 
democratic republic, 

"'But the nation's economic health de- 
mands use of nuclear power, regardless of 
how a majority of the public feels about it!' 
some of you may say. 

"Eureka! You have just had an insight into 
your own totalitarian tendencies. 

"I hope I have fulfilled Carl Goldstein's 
request that I talk both about how I operate 
and about how the nuclear industry might 
become more credible. 

"I rather suspect I may also have com- 
plied with my cable instructions not to tell 
you anything you will use. I have told you all 
you need to know, namely, Crossman's 
principles, but I doubt that more than a 
handful of you believe me. and I am rea- 
sonably confident not a one of you will use 
one bit of it." 

And in this prediction — on the evidence 
at least of Three Mile Island, where industry 
denied "or minimized each danger until it 
became impossible to do so a moment 
longer, then minimized the next danger- 
David Comey proved right. OO 






Results of Competition #6: 
Partly Baked Ideas 



cqnnPETiToru 



By Scot Morris 



In the April Omni we asked for specu- ' 
lations, provocative questions, 
suggestions for novel experiments, 
unusual applications of technology, 
machines that should be built — in short, 
what I, J. Good, in his book The Scientist 
Speculates, calls partly baked ideas 
(pbis). 

Some pbis were barely warm: We got 
several designs for perpetual-motion 
machines and one trisect-the-angle 
scheme. Others were too familiar:' solar 
cells on the root of electric cars, 
holographic television, EEG-pattern 
music, the old idea that atoms are small 
solar systems containing rnicrouni verses 
(or, conversely, that our galaxy is a 
molecule in God's toenail), and endless 
fanciful, impractical schemes to tap such 
"unused" energy sources as pedestrians, 
highway qr subway traffic, and even the 
kinetic energy of falling leaves or water 
draining out of the bathroom sink. 

Despite the gnawing fear that one of the 
ideas we tossed in the reject pile might 
turn up as a Nobel Pri2e winner in 1990, we 
boldly dismissed about three quarters ol 
the entries on various grounds — : 
impractical, unclear too esoteric, too long, 
not new, and so on— then passed the rest 
along to guest judge I, J. Good for his 
helpful suggestions and perceptive 
comments. (Some of his comments, and 
our own, are appended to the pbis below.) 

We cannot vouch for the premises of 
some pbis, nor for their ultimate originality. 
Inevitably, some of these pbis will have 
been proposed independently, 
somewhere else. But an attitude of 
"Somebody must have thought of this 
belore and found it wouldn't work" is a 
primary inhibition to fully baking an idea 
and publishing it— a bias that this 
competition was designed to remedy. 
Since we couldn't guarantee the originality 
of any of the winning ideas, we awarded 
top prize to a frivolous suggestion 
that caught our fancy for its very 
outrageousness. Most pbis listed below 
have been paraphrased for brevity and 
clarity; most are serious, but some are 
humorous— not always intentionally. We 
leave it to you to decide which is which. 



GRAND PRIZE WINNER ($100) 

The leaves of the prayer plant open in 
daylight and close in darkness. In a room 
gradually shorten the 24-hour light-dark 
cycle to 23 hours, then 22, and so on. until 
the light is flashing on and off at strobe 
frequency. At that time, if the soil and the 
::>ol are lightweight enough, the prayer 
plant will flap its leaves, lift off the table, 
and fly away. 

—Steven L. Oxier. Baltimore, Md. 
RUNNERS-UP ($25) 

Perhaps during times of stress, such as a 
change in environment, the body 
produces gene-mutating chemicals that 
increase random mutations in descen- 
dants to ensure the filling of any new 
ecological niches created! 

—Dennis S. Murray Kent, Wash. 

Certain cerebral arteries, if "hyper- 
tensed," may burst and cause a stroke. A 
polyethylene tube, thin enough to rupture 
just below the "popping pressure point," 
could be threaded into any exterior 
abdominal arteriole, be worn on a belt 
encased in transparent plastic, and be 
monitored like a fuse. "Blown fuse" 
warnings might prevent brain damage. 
—Sumner L. Shapiro, M.D., Encino, Calif. 

Bats catch insects by using their "sonar"; 
so it seems reasonable that some insects 
might have evojved a way to detect these 
sounds as a defense. If so, an electronic 
insect repellent could reproduce the bat's 
sound to frighten insects away 

—John McCown, Camargo, 111. 

Some people dream in black-and-white, 

some i'n color. Since the concept of 
black-and-white dates from the origin of 
photography and is less than 200 years 
old, did our forefathers presumably always 
dream jn color? 

— Gary Peterson, Chicago, III. 

In 1978 Kansas suffered an 
infestation of grasshoppers. There was 
talk of lifting bans on dangerous insec- 
ticides. A better solution: Harvest the 



grasshoppers, collecting them in traps at 
boundaries of fields, process and market 
them as "prairie shrimp" for animal and ' 
human consumption. Industries exploiting 
other "pests." such as starlings, walking 
catfish, the crown ofthorns, rats, flies, and 
cockroaches, should also be explored. 

—Terry B. Grund, Lawrence, Kans. 

Tooth decay is caused by the secretions of 
bacteria {Streptococcus /nutans) that 
colonize our mouths. So far, efforts to 
prevent decay are aimed at reinforcing 
tooth enamel, scrubbing S. mutans off, 
etc, Instead, why not treat tooth decay as 
an ecological problem? Create a hybrid 
nondecay-producing bacterium that will 
crowd S. mutans out of its cozy little niche 
in the mouth. Look, Ma, no cavities! 

— Draper L. Kauffman, St. Louis, Mo. 

The problem with the common umbrella is 
that one can't stand under the middle of it. 
because the handle is there. How about 
an umbrella with the handle to one side so 
the user can stand where maximum rain 
protection is. 

—Alan Wallace, Pleasant Hills. Pa. 

How about a car that a deaf person can 
drive? A microphone triggers a red light 
inside the car — continuous light for a horn. 
flashing for a siren, brighter as the sound 
gets louder. 

— James Martin Prochnik. Fairfax, Va. 

My pbi involves ESP and photography. 
What I've done is photograph with the lens 
cap in place and rely on an audience's 
inner resources, to say the least. Someday 
I plan to have a gallery showing of my 
credit slips from the photo lab. 

—Laurence E. Leidecker Warren. Pa. 
(This entry was accompanied by atotally 
black 35mm slide.) 

HONORABLE MENTION 

The Aztec number system is base-12. 
instead of the more common base-10. How 
do we know that the original Aztecs 
weren't mutants with six fingers on each 
hand? 

—Cindy Groskreutz, Sarasota, Fla. 



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Abreed apart. —J 



For family planning, a woman should know 
precisely when she is ovulating, but 
keeping charts is a drag and susceptible 
to error. I propose a small calendar ctock 
with a computer memory in which to 
record such data as the date of the last 
ovulation, signs of mucus, bleeding, and 
daily temperature. The alarm clock rings 
once, and the woman straps its 
thermometer under her arm and goes ■ 
back to sleep. In five minutes the alarm 
goes off again, having recorded and 
stored her basal tempera'ture. 

— C. Meyer, Houston, Tex. 

It is possible that the pools oi oil lying in 
our earth's substrata act as shock 
absorbers or as lubricants for the earth's 
surface platelets. Could the pumping out 
of this oil cause more friction in the 
platelets' normal shifting, more jerky 
movements, more earthquakes? 

—Robert A. Albert, Jacksonville, Fla. 

Portrait painters and photographers could 
pay the biggest compliments (and get the 
highest commissions) by depicting a 
subject in reversed, left-right image, which 
is the only way a person ever sees himself 
when he looks into a mirror. 

— Shimon Israel, New York, N.Y. 

A wide-angle TV camera pointing back 
from a car is monitored on a dashboard 
display for complete rear-view vision. 

— Howard Glanton. Montrose, Mich. 

Let's have one standard time throughout 
the world. When it's 5:00 rm„ May 30, in 
Greenwich. England, it's the exact same 
time in New York, Tokyo, 
Moscow — everywhere. This would 
eliminate the international dateline, time 
zones, and daylight saving time. Work 
shifts would be more economic, scientific 
measurements of time would be more 
consistent, and international appointments 
missed because of "my time, yourtime" 
confusion would be a thing of the past. 

—David Kohn, Burlingame, Calif. 

Can suitable hypnotic suggestions make 
one a calculating prodigy? After all, 
multiplying big numbers merely involves 
the repeated use of a few simple 
algorilhms, easily within the capabilities of 
the "subconscious." 

—Paul Hsieh, Kalamazoo, Mich. 

The bacterium Escherichia coli.. a normal 
inhabitant of the large intestine, is the most 
common cause of recurrent urinary-tract 
infections (UTJs). It would seem that the 
shorter the distance from the anus to the 
urethra or vaginal orifice, the more likely an 
E. coli is to migrate that distance. Is there a 
correlation between anus-urethra 
proximity and incidence of recurrent UTls? 
If so, Ihe measurement could be used to 
identify persons" at risk and to institute 
p-ophyiac':c measures. 

-Steven C. Horii, M.Q, New York, N.Y 



In her native North Africa, Ihe basenji bitch 
has estrus once a year. The American 
basenji, first introduced here in the late 
1930s, now comes into season two or even 
three times a year, regardless of climate, 
nutrition, or activily Why? America the 
Fertile? 

— Annfciordness. dog breeder. 
Nordann Kennels, Staten Island, N.Y 

How about a regular publication for 
printing pbis, The Journal of Creative 
Speculation? If he so requesls, the 
submitter can sign with a number instead 
of a name. 

— Brijin Kenny, Cerritos. Calif. 
(This suggestion is mentioned in The 
Scientist Speculates, in which a 1958 
proposal is cited. Also, there is a new 
periodical in Australia called Speculations 
in Science and Technology . — I. J. Good) 

I've heard that people who live near 
airports die of heart disease and strokes, 
while those who live near railroad tracks 
don 'I. If this is so, perhaps it is because 
the train makes a low rilmble and the jet 
aircraft emits a high-pitched whine. 

—Alexander Furie, Canoga Park, Calif. 
(Or is it that the noise of the train increases 
more gradually lhan that of the plane? 
-I. J. Good) 

Clock radios with timers for "music to fall 
asleep by" need two volume controls, one 
adjustable for soft levels when falling 
asleep, the other preset to a desired 
alarm-volume level, usually rather loud, for ' 
waking up. 

— Mark Smith, Stone Mountain, Ga. 

Why not develop a synthetic "dark 
chlorophyll" that will absorb energy from 
types of radiation outside the visible 
spectrum, for a new avenue for solving our 
increasing food problem? 

—John Miller. Clifton Park, N.Y. 

My observations of alcoholics thai I have 
known showed that all had a strong dislike 
for milk and a preference for salted foods 
over sweet foods. If these correlations hold 
up, perhaps there's a link between blood 
chemistry, food preference, and the 
predisposition toward alcoholism. 

— Gwenne A. Zobel, Medford, Greg. 

The existence of ESP has been hard to 
demonstrate using ordinary statistical 
melhods and ordinary numbers. 
Mathematicians should try examining 
irrational phenomena with irrational 
numbers, 

— Pamela Bethke, Detroil Lakes, Minn. 

After many years lying awake listening to 
male family members make noises like 
terocious beasts, it occurred to me that 
perhaps snoring evolved m primitive man 
because the fierce noise frightened 
dangerous intruders away 

— Christina Lipper, Sonoma. Calif. DCJ 



PAPER CHASE 
EXPLDR^TOTUS 



By Cheryl Simon 



i^^k ulhor David Macaulay, in his new 
M^^K book, Motel of Ihe Mysteries, 
m % describes a cataclysmic 

reduction in postal rates that causes 
modern civilization to be buried by tons of 
third- and fourth-class mail. Like so many 
fantasies, Macaulay's is based partly on 
fact. Every year the average American 
uses enough newsprint, cardboard, 
paperboard, and copy paper to fill six 
steamer trunks. This translates to 636 
pounds per person. 

Though information is transmitted 
increasingly by electronic means, we 
depend more and more on paper to 
contain food, present news, and provide 
structure for homes and fodder for 
voracious photocopiers. 

Not surprisingly almost every state has 
a booming papermaking industry. While 
the technology undergoes continual 
refinement, the basic process has 
changed little since a Chinese court 
official, Ts'ai Lun. invented paper in a.q 
105. Fibers from the inner bark of a paper 
mulberry tree and from bamboo were 
cooked, pressed, and dried. Despite 
modern machinery, awesome in its speed 
and efficiency, this is essentially the same 
process used today 

The S. D Warren plant in Westbrook, 
Maine, is but one of many paper mills 
where this ancient art has been adapted 
to meet present-day needs. 

The five of us waiting for a tour shuffle 
restlessly in a corner of the front lobby 
Then our tour guide arrives. We don hard 
hats as he leads us down a narrow 
passageway to a cavernous room where 
wood chips begin their conversion from 
timber to paper; 

Our first stop is the digester a steel-gray 
vessel three stories tall. The wood, 
debarked and chipped into inch-long 
pieces, is cooking at temperatures from 
160°to18O°C. 

But this is no ordinary kitchen, with 
wholesome aromas exuding from 
conventional ovens. The overwhelming 
impression is one of. moisture. Though 
there is ample light, a 'steamy haze 
enshrouds the gurgling digester Our 
guide reaches into the overflow vat, 



scoops up a handful of the chips, and 
invites us to look at it. It resembles an 
overused cotton ball, wet and gummy. 

The rotten-egg smell emanating from 
the digester results from the chemicals - a 
solution of sodium hydroxide, sodium 
carbonate, and sodium sulfide — used to 
cook ihe wood chips. After about three 
hours the combination of chemicals, heat, 
and live steam pressure degrades and 
dissolves the lignin (the cement that holds 
the wood fibers together). Still in the form 
of chips, the wood then enters a blow tank, 
where a rapid drop in pressure loosens the 
adhesive and reduces the chips to pulp, 

After the fibers are mixed with water and 
are screened to remove wood slivers and 
dirt, the pulp is mixed with chemicals and 
bleached in four stages until it turns white. 
After the first cycle, a sample sheet, 
resembling the brown paper used for 
grocery bags, is made for testing. Then 
the pulp enters a beater. Color, il desired, 
sizing, and other chemicals are added as 
required for specific papers-. 

Our group straggles to the far side of 
the enormous room, skirting the digester, 



and we roll up our sleeves. We become 
conscious of our breathing in the thick air 
The humidity clinging to our clothes and 
skin is an insignificant fraction of the 20 
million gallons of water that the plant 
consumes each day. 

This plant, 130 years old, is in transition. 
Old-style drab-green passageways and 
metal stairs lead to rooms glaring with 
fluorescent light and modern steel-blue 
equipment. The papermaking machines 
never stop. The machines spew out a 
million pounds, or 453,000 kilograms, a 
day, A thousand workers are employed 
here. 

"From the beater, the pulp flows to 
refiners, and the fibers are cut to uniform 
size. Their surfaces are roughened so that 
they will bond together properly on the 
paper machine. 

The puip is now ready to be mixed with 
water to form a slurry, which is about 
99.5-percent water and . 5-percent pulp. 
We watch as it flows onto the Foudrinier 
wire, the papermaking machine named for 
the brothers who first used such a 
machine in London in 1804. A screen, 




Raw material from which over 50 million tons of paper are produc 



which can be more than nine meters wide, 
moves forward continuously, vibrating 
constantly from side to side to interlace the 
fibers and extract the water. Most of the 
water drains off as the newly formed web 
of fibers moves forward at speeds as fast 
as 914 meters (3,000 feet) per minute. 

The sheet passes to the second section 
of the whirring papermaking machine, 
which snatches the sheet from the wire 
and whisks it on to the press section. 
Felted rolls press out more water. Most 
paper retains about 5 percent of its water, 
but still more than 153 cubic meters of 
water must be removed for every ton of 
paper produced. Gradually, as we 
progress with the sheet down the length of 
the machine, the air becomes hotter and 
drier. The sheet is wrapped around the 
steam-heated d r ;im= and :hcn flattened 



between heavy calender rolls to develop 
stiffness and a final smooth finish. Now the 
paper can be rolled onto "parent" rolls. 

The produciion of paper is merely one 
part of the papcrmak ng ix.sness. 
Depending on the kind of paper desired, 
paper can be coated, embossed, 
laminated, or calendered to yield a variety 
ol strengths and shiny, matte, or textured 
finishes. These choices may be governed 
by the kinds of raw wood that are used. 
Softwood, the wood of needle-bearing 
trees, yields higher-quality papers 
because the longer fibers adhere to make 
a stronger product. Hardwood comes from 
broad-leaved trees. Because of its shorter 
fibers, if is used for lower grades 
of paper. It is often blended in varying 
proportions with softwood pulp at the 
paper machine. 




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Theremainde r o : ou' two-hour tour 
consists of strolling down seemingly 
endless corridors. Our group is herded 
aside to dodge a manned vehicle zipping 
by with its load of paper rolls. We enter a 
room where a machine called the 
Jagenberg Vari-Roll splits the rolls into as 
many as five smaller rolls of manageable 
size. Conveyors near the high ceiling carry 
suspended parent rolls into the room tor 
splitting. 

In the coating room we watch as the 
paper runs through a gooey substance, 
the consistency of Latex paint. The paper 
is then dried in ovens about 28 meters 
long. Research laboratories continually 
search for new formulas that produce 
high-quality coatings but use less cost y 
chemicals, 

Glossy paper, used by most magazines, 
results when paper is coated and 
semi-dried until it becomes tacky Then 
boiling water is poured on, and the paper 
is wrapped around shiny chrome drums. 
The room shimmers beneath fluorescent 
lights: the drums reflect the paper's 
sheen. If there is a scratch or a piece of 
dust on a drum, the paper will pick it up. 

At the end of our tour, in the trimming 
room, a hissing blade cuts through stacks 
of paper six inches thick, thus completing 
a process begun by the lumberjack's 
chainsaw. 
IN TRANSIT ____ 

Many papermaking plants offer regular 
tours during the summer and, with several 
days' notice, will arrange special tours for 
individuals or small groups during the off 
season, There are paper mills scattered 
throughout the country, but the largest 
producers are Georgia, Alabama. 
Louisiana. Washington, Florida, Oregon, 
Mississippi, South Carolina, Maine, 
and Virginia. 

There are several easy approaches to 
setting up a tour. One is to go to a local 
library and check Lockwood's Directory ol 
the Paper and Allied Trades — a massive 
compendium that lists every pulp and 
paper mill. Also, the yellow pages, under 
the "Paper Manufacturers" heading, will 
list the plants in a given area. A phone call 
to the public-aifairs director will yield 
answers to most tour-related questions. 

Finally, some of the largest, most diverse 
paper mills are: 

Champion Paper Corporation, RO. Box 
200, Stamford, Conn. 06921 

Boise Cascade, 1600 SW Fourth Avenue, 
P.O. Box 1414, Portland. Oreg. 97207 

International Paper Company, 220 East 
42nd Street, New York, N.Y. 1001 7 



Weverf ae..ise< Comoanv. PC. Box 1060, 
Hot Springs, Ariz. 71901 DO 



PHEruonriEruA 



I apocalypse," says 
photographer Pete Tur — 
explosion. "Irr -' 



small Icelandic Island of Heimaey, in 
annaeyjar. 



i irj i in '1'i vffJU i H BB 



heat of the earth. Ic 

Mid-Atiantic Ridge, 

continental plates are being | 
a rate of two centimeters per , 
fissures form 

builds, and the magma wells u, 

iditions are right for the 



When 
you make 
a sight; 



iLtfl 



What next? This "comprehensive tool for 
ihe would-be UFO investigator" 
{Raymond E. Fowler, author of The 
Andreasson Affair) tells you everything 
you should know about techniques and 
procedures used to investigate UFO 
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judge other people's reports; much, 
much more. With photos, maps and line 
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CONTINUED FROM fif 



individuals who were not astronomers. 
Even Ptolemy, in his astrological tome, the 
Tetrabiblos, distinguished between as- 
tronomy ("first both in order and in effec- 
tiveness") and_astrology "so that one 
whose aim is the truth might never compare 
its perceptions with the sureness of the 
first, unvarying science." Kepler writes of 
the "follies and blasphemies oi astrolo- 
gers" and refers to astrology as the "foolish 
stepdaughter of astronomy ... a dreadful 
superstition." Ms. Crozier's reference to 
Newton as an astrologer is simply not sup- 
ported by the historical record. 

Astrologers may eventually realize what 
is truly known about celestial influences 
and move into the twentieth century. I hope 
so. 

Philip A. lanna 
Charlottesville, Va. 

From Extinction 

Kenneth Brower's article on the plight of the 
California condor |Earth, August 1979] was 
one of the most thought-provoking pieces 
I've read in a long time. Will man ever learn? 
It's too bad sq.many of us are born with 
such inflated egos that we feel we have the 
ability and the right to play with nature 
whenever we deem it necessary. The con- 
dot doesn't need man's help to survive. 
Any intervention at all will probably do more 
harm than good. 

If we all worked on changing ourselves 
as much as we try to change other things, 
.the world would probably be in a lot better 
shape. It certainly wouldn't hurt to try. 

Jim Obremski 
Hopewell Junction, N.Y 

Ex Officio 

In his "Official Circles; PSI on Capitol Hill" 
article [July 1979] about Representative 
Charlie Rose ot North Carolina. William K. 
Stuckey incorrectly referred to Terry San- 
ford as an "ex-university president." Al- 
though on sabbatical leave during the cur- 
rent academic year, Mr. Sanford remains 
the eminent president of Duke University. 
James A. Bobula, Ph.D. 
Duke Unversty 
Durham. N.C.OO 



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Maiibag: Readers shout "Eureka!" 
and pose their own problems 



By Scot Morris 



This month's column is dedicated to 
those readers who caught us napping on 
puzzles past and submitted alternate 
solutions lo lead us down the path of 
Tightness for our games' sake (Questions 
1-6) and to the readers who tuned the 
tables and sent us problems to sweat over 
(Questions 7-12). 

1, MATCH UP (October 1978). We asked, 
"Can you move just one match to produce 
a valid equation?" The answer we wanted 



triangle on the table, the Ihree other 

matches propped against one another to 



VI 



wasVl = 1. We disallowed one. shortcut, 
VI /I, but tailed to foresee two alternate 
solutions sent in by Jay Stein-field, of 
Bellaire, Texas, and Agnes Barlow, of 
Country Lake. New Jersey. Can you find 
theirtwo new answers? 

2, POTTED PROBLEM (November 1978). 
Which coffeepot holds more? We said they 




both hold the same, because the spouls 

rise to the same height. A half-dozen 
readers argued that the short pot will hold 
more. Why? 

3. TRIANGLES (October 1 978). Another 

match problem asked you io arrange six 
■ matches into four equilateral triangles. We 
intended - but didn't specify ■- that all four 
triangles would be equal with sides one 
match long. Our three-dimensional 
solution was a tetrahedron with one base 

144 OMNI 



form three "vertical" triangles. Some 
readers found how to make six and even 
eight equilateral triangles with just six 
unbroken matches. Can you? (Hint: The 
rnaiches remain flat on the table, but 
overlap.) 

4. UP AGAINST THE WALL (November 
1978). Can you stand with your back and 
heels against a wall and touch your toes 
without bending your knees? We said it 
couldn't be done: "When you bend over, 
your hips must move back to keep your 

. center of g ravity over your feet. The wall 
prevents that; so you fall over." A few 
readers weren't convinced by this 
impeccable logic and found a way. (Hint: 
Carefully reread the instructions to note 
what is, and is not, allowed.) 

5. CUT THE CAKE (December 1 978). 

Problem; Cut the birihday cake into eight 
equal pieces with just three straight cuts. 
We did it with two perpendicular vertical 
cuts and one horizontal cut. Unfortunately 
this leaves some pieces (the bottom four) 
with less frosting than the others. A 
twelve-year-old Chicago reader, Tom 
Muller, found a way to equalize things. 
(Hint: His precarious solution is not strictly 
disallowed by the instructions.) 



for $100? Our answer was 10 puppies, 2 
kittens, and 88 goldfish. Dozens of 
readers pointed out that 5 pups, 1 1 
kittens, and 84 fish would be another 
possibility, but only a few found the one 
other combination that tallies. (Hint; To find 
it, you must doggedly forget something.) 

READERS' PUZZLES 

7, FIVE ROOMS. Draw a continuous line 
that passes through every wall segment 




6. THE PET STORE (March 1979). 
Puppies cost 55, kittens $3, and goldfish 
50 cents. How can you buy 1 00 animals 



(V 








Sr 







once only The illustration shows a failed 
attempt. The segment marked X remains 
uncrossed, is there a path that solves the 
puzzle?The answer is no. Prove it. 

8. PROOFTHAT 2 = 1. Several readers, 
including Mike Speer. of El Paso, Texas, 
T J. Waters, of Mesa, Arizona, and Van 

Cleve Morris, of Wilmette, Illinois, have 
sent variations on the following 
mathematical paradox: 

1. x = y (Given) 

2. x 2 =xy (Multiply both sides byx) 

3. x 2 -y 2 =xy -y 2 (Subtract y 2 from both) 

4. (x +y)(x -y) = y(x -y) (Factor) 

5. x +y =y (Cancel out the (x.-y) term) 

6. 2y =y (Substitulex lory, by equation 1) 

7. 2 = 1 (Divide both sides byy) 

Two equals one? Is mathematics built on 
a house of sai tines? Is all logical thinking 
about to crumble 7 Save mathematics from 
utter collapse. Study each step, and find . 
the flaw in this proof. 

9. THREE UTILITIES. The task here is to 
connect each utility (gas, electricity water) 
to each of three houses without crossing 
lines. The paths can be as long and 
convoluted as necessary, so long as they 
don't cross (or pass under a house or 



utility). The illustration shows a near-miss. 
Every connection is made except for water 




to house A. Can you solve the problem? It 
not, can you prove that nobody can? 

10. NICOTINE FITS. Joe Eddy Brown, of 
Chicago, asks, "If a hobo can recycle one 

new cigarette from six butts, how many 
could he make out of thirty-six butts?" 
(Hint: The answer isn't six.) 

1 1 . THE NINE DOTS. Steve Werk, of 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, asks whether it is 
possible to connect all nine dots with 



• • • 



four straight lines. This puzzle. Werk says. 
is often used to show how people's 
unconscious assumptions restrict them 
from insightful solutions. People tend to 
keep their lines within the border of the 
nine dots, but nothing in the rules 
demands this. Can you break through 
mental boundaries to find the solution? 
Some ingenious alternate solutions to 
this puzzle have been proposed, in which 
the nine dots are connected with three 
straight lines or. incredibly, with just one. 
Can you imagine how? 

12. WHATCOLORWASTHEBEAR?Unc 
Diamant, of New York City, says his favorite 
puzzle is this: An explorer sees a bear 100 
meters due sooth of him. The bear walks 
1 00 meters due east while the explorer 
stands still. The explorer then points his 
gun due south, fires, and kills the bear 



Question: What color was the bear? 

The classic answer to this chestnut 
is that the bear is white, since the only 
place the explorer could be standing 
would be exactly on the North Pole. 

There are no polar bears at the South 
Pole, but if there were, could the explorer 
be in Antarctica? The answer is yes. There 
are an infinite number of places— in fact, 
three sets of infinite places— where the 
explorer can stand near the South Pole 
and satisfy the conditions of the prob- 
lem. Can you think of any of them? The 
ultimate analysis of the problem is Benja- 
min Schwartz's article "What Color Was the 
Bear?" (Mathematics Magazine. Vol. 34, - 
Sep1ember-October1960). For our 
abbreviated tour, see Answers, page 130. 

ANSWERS to iive Martin Gardner puzzles 
from last month. 

1, CUT-UPS. Can a square be dissected 
into five congruent parts, each having the 
same size and shape? Yes, there is only 
one way to do it, and here it is. How smart 
does this make you feel? 



7. TALEOFATUB.Aplasticboatloaded 
with nuts and bolts floats in a bathtub. 
When they are dumped, what happens to 
the water level in the tub? It goes down. A 
floating object displaces its weight in 
water, a submerged object displaces its 
volume. When the metal cargo is dumped, 
the water level is lowered. 

8. PIGEONS. A truck driver carrying 200 
pigeons bangs on the side of his truck to 

frighten the birds and make them fly 
around in the compartment just long 
enough for him to drive across a rickety 
bridge. His method won't work, however. 
The weight of a closed compartment 
containing a bird is equal to the weight of 



the compartment plus the bird's weight, 
except when the bird is in the air and 
aGcetSf&ting up or down. The former 
increases the weight of the system, the 
latter reduces it. Only if the bird is in free 
fall is the system's weight lowered by the 
weight oi the bird. Flapping birds alternate 
smail up-and-down accelerations, which 
average out. The overall weighl ot the 
system remains virtually the same. 

9, BIKE TRICK. Pulling back on the lower 
pedal causes the bicycle to move 
backward. The force on the pedal is in the 
direction that normally would push the 
bicycle forward, but the large size of the 
wheels and the small gear ratio between 




the pedal and the wheel sprockets are 
such that the bicycle is free to move 
backward with the pull. When it does so, 
the pedal actually moves forward with 
respect to the bicycle (that is, in a 
counterclockwise direction in the . 
illustration), although it moves backward 
with respect to the ground, If you don't 
believe all this, Gardner suggests, you'll 
simply have to get a bicycle and try it. 

10. BELL ROPES. An acrobat wants to 

steal two bell ropes by climbing and 
cutting them at points as high as possible, 
yet avoiding a fall lo the concrete floor 
below. How can he get the most rope? He 
first ties the lower ends of the ropes 
together. He climbs rope A to the top and 
cuts rope B, leaving just enough rope to tie 
into a small loop. Hanging by this loop, he 
cuts rope A off at the ceiling (without 
letting it fall!), then passes the end of A 
through the loop and pulls it through until 
the knot is at the loop. After letting himself 
down this double rope, he pulls it free of 
the loop, thereby obtaining the entire 
length of A and almost all of B.DO 



hET RUE PIONEERS OFSRCE' 



LAJDRD 



By LAP Moore 



^^\ llhough humans have been 
■ *^^» claiming Us first! at every step 
# » in trie race to escape from 

■ Earth's gravity, we are aclually very late 
entrants. Culled from public documents; 
the following is a history of the true 
pioneers of the space race. 

It all began in September 1783. The first 
balloon to carry passengers from the 
planet's surface rose from the courtyard of 
the palaceof Versailles, for an eight- 
minute flight. On board were the first 
two explorers of the universe — a duck and 
a rooster. You might say it was a fowl day, 
The next major-step into space was 163 
years incoming. 

On December 17. 1946, fungus spores 
took off in a balloon, headed for the top of 
the atmosphere. Their balloon was never 
seenagain. Fruifflies gave it a try in 1947. 

■ reaching air altitude of .106 miles. These 
insect adventurers returned safely to 
swarrnsof welcome rs. 

Albert, a rhesus monkey was sitting in a 
V-2 rocket on June 18/1948, ready for 
launch. There was an equipment failure, 
however, and Albert never got off the 
ground. This was to be the first of many 
problems encountered by the monkey 
space effort, leading to rumors of 
interspecies sabotage. A year later on 
June 14, 1949, Albert II reached an 
a t lude ol 83 mi es vine eating the original 
. A, or--: and no-rhesus cause in general. 
Unlorlu'ialely. Albert II had problems. His ■. 
rclu'n oarachute; failed! Two further rhesus 
ihc'iis. in ifK3 and in 1950, ended with 
parao-nuto 'ailurcs. Clawing "caution." 
humans refused to. enter the race. It was a - 
claim we : would hear again and again. " - 

As if to shame Man. a mouse went up in 
a ^2 .rocket in the summer of 1950, but his 
return parachute alsofailed. Rapidly 
picking u.p'fhe fallen-mouse banner, eight 
-ice 'D<ik oh in a balloon, on September 
2S. made tt ;o 97,0.00 feet, and then 
returned safely.' '-. •---, 

Heartened by the success of the mice, ■ 
a monkey-tried the fi r st Aerobee rocket on 
April 1-8. 1953/ Almost unbelievably, the 
return parachute iai'ed. ~- ying a new 
tactic, a monkey took 11 mice with him 
when he lifted off in tne second Aerobee ' 



onSeptembe-20. and hey -eacned 
236,000 feet. The parachute functioned ' 
perfectly but the recovery team couldn't .- 
locate the returned capsule, which had 
landedjn a desert, The third and last of 
the monkeys' Aerobee attempts was made' 
on May 21, 1952: Michael and Patricia. ■ ■ 
with two mice going along-fdr good luck,' 
reached an at. tud'; oi 36 miles. All 
returned, safely, and the Monkey Curse 
was broken. - 

Belweenthe-.eight-mouse success and 
the end.of 1952. there were 20 more 
balloon flights. Balloonauts included fruit 
flies, mice, hamsters, cats: and dogs — a 
virtual airborne zoo. The flights ranged 
from 90.000 to 100.000 feet and lasted as 
long as 28 hours. Still, there was no word 
from Man. 

Between 1949 and 1959 dogs made the 
great leap forward, going up in more than 
40 rockets. On Novembers, 1957 - in a 
feat every bit. as sgnrican: as that of 
1783 — a dog named Laika was.the first 
earthling to orbit the planet. The conquest 
■of space had begun; 

Then the monkeys sent up one of their 
own. Gordo, who followed a long ballistic 
path that took him beyond orbital distance. 
In a quick follow-up, Able and Baker, two 
female monkeys, reached an altitude of 
300 miles and a speed of 10,000 mph. " 
Both returned safely. ■ 

On June 3, 1959 three mice tried, but 




Mishka llelti and Ts'tgahka: ready for'spai 



failed to.achieve orbit. The year ended ' . 
with a success when a rhesus named Sam- ' 
mad.ea ballistic flight to 280;000"feet, 
■returhing.inhigh spirits.. Humans 
continued to provide technical and moral 
support, but men failed to go aloft. The * '" 
time was not yel right. .i '_■-■ 

The year 1960 started off well and got 
better On January 21, a svelte, six-pound 
rhesusnamed Miss Sam made a flight.- 
edging the monkeys ahead again, The - 
dogs sfuok back on August 19, when 
Belka and Si'relka achieved orbit at 199 
miles. Their craft, which weighed'10.000 
pounds, remained in orbit for more than 24 
hours. Their orbital speed was 227 miles 
per minute. Their flight totaled 437,500 
miles, setting a new record. Belka was 
two-and-a-half years old and weighed 4.5" 
kilograms; a year younger, Strelka 
weighed a hefty 5.5 kilograms. 

Also in the fall of 1960 Sally. Arhyf and 
Moe -three mice — took a 5,000- 
mile-long. 700-mile-high flight in an 
Atlas, reaching 18,000 mph and passing '..-. 
through the innerVan Allen radiation belt: 
Late r.att-three had healthy, normal 
offspring,' . 

To.end the year, Pchelka and Mushka - 
went uo for the dogs on December 1 . 
accompanied by insects and plants. And '. 
Man was. finally thinking about entering the 
race. 

Not to be outdone by their rhesus and 
squirrel monkey cousins, the 
chimpanzees made their move on January . 
31," 1961. Chang (nicknamed Ham), a 
handsome chimp weighing 16.5 
kilograms, covered 414 miles in 16.5 
minutes in a flawless ballistic flight. 

On March 9 Chernushka, a female- dog. 
took off with a truly integrated 
crew -guinea pigs', mice, insects, and' 
seeds. A friend of hers. Zvezdochka, ' 
made a follow-up flight on March 25. Man 
was thinking seriously, about entering the. 
race. 

Dn April- 12, 1961, Yuri, a male human ■- 
and citizen of the USSR, made one orbit 
around Earth inhis craft, Vostokl. Man 
had finally arrived. 

_ On November 29 of that year Enos, a . 
■ male chimpanzee, made two orbits. DO '